Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center (Tampa, USA) are investigating new treatment approaches for the primary lung neuroendocrine tumour patient population. In a new article published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics, a team of physicians, led by Daniel Oliver and Stephen Rosenberg, suggests that stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) could be an effective treatment for patients with early-stage lung neuroendocrine tumours.
SBRT is a treatment approach that delivers high doses of radiation to precise areas of a tumour, minimising damage to surrounding normal cells. Patients receiving SBRT often have less toxicity and side-effects compared to treatment with conventional radiotherapy that is delivered in smaller doses each day over several weeks.
“SBRT is commonly used as a treatment for early stage non-small cell lung cancer, and our results show strong tumour control. This suggests that SBRT may also be effective for lung neuroendocrine tumours,” said Oliver, assistant member of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Moffitt Cancer Center. “In fact, SBRT is increasingly being used to treat early-stage lung neuroendocrine tumours in clinical practice, despite the lack of consensus recommendations for this approach and very limited data on its effectiveness and toxicity in lung neuroendocrine tumour patients.”
Because of the lack of data, Oliver and his team wanted to assess the efficacy and long-term outcomes of SBRT in patients with lung neuroendocrine tumours. They performed a retrospective analysis of 48 lung neuroendocrine tumours from 46 patients who were treated with SBRT from 11 institutions across the USA. The researchers discovered that SBRT provided strong local/regional tumour control. The three-, six- and nine-year local control rates with SBRT were 97%, 91% and 91% respectively, and only one regional recurrence occurred. The treatment was also well tolerated with only one case of SBRT-related toxicities reported, which was considered low-grade.
“The current study is the largest and first multi-institutional series evaluating local control, toxicity and dosimetric outcomes with SBRT for early-stage lung neuroendocrine tumours. Our results suggest that while surgery provides excellent outcomes, SBRT should be considered another treatment option for this patient population,” said Rosenberg, study senior author and director of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided radiotherapy in the Moffitt Cancer Center’s Department of Radiation Oncology.