Lung Cancer Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT)
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Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy for Lung Cancer
We use a form of external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) called stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) to treat tumors in the lungs.
SBRT uses advanced imaging techniques to deliver a targeted radiation dose to a tumor. We track a tumor’s movement as a result of breathing during treatment. Then we focus the radiation on the tumor with millimeter precision. The result is that less healthy tissue gets damaged by radiation. Preserving healthy tissue is important for many lung cancer patients, who may be struggling with other conditions like emphysema.
How SBRT Targets Lung Tumors
Before treatment, our doctors place fiducial markers around the tumor to help us deliver a more precise dose of radiation to tumors in the lungs, and minimize damage to healthy lung tissue. Typically, this procedure would require surgery and a significant recovery time. We use navigational bronchoscopy to place the markers, a minimally-invasive tool that shortens treatment times and minimizes side effects associated with surgery.
The first step of SBRT is to create a 3D image of the tumor. Next, we match up the radiation dose pattern with the exact shape and size of the tumor. Throughout the treatment, the intensity and direction of the beams are constantly modulated to target the tumor and spare healthy lung tissue. The beams are also adjusted according to breathing.
With sterotactic body radiation, our lung cancer team delivers:
- Higher radiation doses to tumors that would not be possible with other radiation therapies.
- Less damage to healthy lung tissue.
- A fewer number of treatments than conventional radiation therapy
SBRT for lung cancer may offer a treatment option to patients who are not candidates for surgery, because of tumor size or location, emphysema or heart disease.
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