(Deccan Chronicle) That lung cancer is potentially fatal if left untreated is a well known fact. But the major problem in treating it through radiation is the constant movement of the organ as it is difficult to target the tumour. There are chances of healthy parts being hit by the radiation.
Thus far in India, the best procedure to treat lung cancer has been surgery. But, as we all know any surgical intervention is not without complications and suffering. With advancement in technology, lung cancer patients in India can have access to what is called 4D-Gated Stereotactic Body Radiosurgery.
Recently, using this technology we have treated a 65-year-old man with inoperable lung cancer. He is the first in India to receive 4-Dimensional Gated Stereotactic Body Radiosurgery using RapidArc technology.
In the case of this patient, there was a 2.5 cm tumour in the right middle lobe of the lung. This meant the tumour moved extensively during breathing and required 4-D Respiratory gating to predict tumour movements.
Lung cancer is the single most devastating cause of cancer related deaths with approximately 1.5 million cases reported world wide and more than 1.3 million deaths in a year. In India, lung cancer constitutes 14.4 per cent (1 in 7) of all cancers as per Indian Council of Medical Research.
Its incidence is rising among both men and women, and increasing numbers are being detected due to better screening and public awareness. Radiotherapy and surgery are two major curative modalities in the treatment of lung cancer with chemotherapy reserved for advanced cases.
Conventional radiotherapy techniques are delivered over 25 to 30 sessions. The new method of radiosurgery is completely non-invasive and it involves delivering the full dose of radiation in as little as one to three treatments of 10 minutes each.
Instead of five to six weeks, the patient’s treatment can be completed in just one week. The new method of radiosurgery is superior to conventional radiation therapy and equivalent to surgery. Radiosurgery might become an alternative to invasive surgery in the near future.
The writer is a clinical oncologist, Yashoda Cancer Institute, Hyderabad.