Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays to kill tumor cells. Drugs used in chemotherapy work in different ways to stop the growth of tumor cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. Which radiation therapy regimen is more effective when given together with chemotherapy to treat patients with limited-stage small cell lung cancer?
Jeffrey Bogart, MD, professor and chair of radiation oncology, is trying to answer that question. He is the national study chair of a clinical trial sponsored by the National Cancer Institute that compares survival times between two different chest radiation therapy regimens.
About 15 percent of lung cancers are small cell lung cancers. At the time of diagnosis, about a third of people with small cell lung cancer are classified as limited stage because the tumors have not spread beyond their lungs.
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy may both be effective in treating small cell lung cancer. The National Cancer Institute reports that combination therapy — such as being offered in this study — has been shown to improve long-term survival in some patients.
Learn about this and other clinical trials taking place at Upstate at www.upstate.edu/hospital/clinical_trials/ Click on “active clinical trials” in the left column. Choose the “cancer” category and then press “search.”