When Just Doing the Same Thing Doesn’t Work
The outlook for someone with stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer with only a few metastases is not promising. After the upfront chemotherapy, the treatment options have been limited to “maintenance” chemotherapy that does not provide a great quality of life. “Maintenance chemo” is continuing with the same regimen that was prescribed for the original lung cancer and the few metastatic sites. Many studies have shown that most cancers come back at the site of the original lung cancer and the original metastatic sites, and not new sites. So why not focus on those areas instead of just giving more chemotherapy?
Look For Better Answers
Dr. Daniel Gomez and colleagues set out to determine if there is a better treatment for Stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer patients who have 1-3 new areas of cancer spread. He spearheaded a clinical trial that randomly assigned patients to A) “maintenance” chemotherapy B) local therapy like radiation or surgery to those metastatic spots or C) no treatment at all.
Patients who had standard chemotherapy and were in relatively good shape after chemotherapy treatment were eligible for the clinical trial. Many medical oncologists (chemo doctors) were reluctant to let their patients in the trial due to their belief that more chemo must be better than anything else. But, they soon learned that more chemo is not better for survival or for quality of life.
A Breakthrough Result
Although only 74 lung cancer patients were entered into the clinical trial from 2012 to 2016, a real revolutionary result was seen.
Group A (more maintenance chemo) = 4 month survival
Group B (local radiation or surgery) = 12 month survival
Group C (no additional treatment) = 4 month survival
The clinical trial was closed early because the doctors learned very quickly that treating the metastatic spots was so much more effective than continuing with the same chemotherapy. These doctors switched their patients protocols immediately.
What Does This Mean for You
Radiation therapy to these new metastatic spots can be done very quickly and painlessly. Treatment with the CyberKnife is the perfect option to beat your non-small cell lung cancer without surgery. No pain and no incisions. And it allows you more time for the important things in your life. CyberKnife is real hope for another year of symptom free survival.
If you have any questions about your lung cancer, please feel free to call me, Dr. Edward Hughes at 855-Dayton 1.
I guarantee that I will see you within 1-3 days of your phone call for a consultation.