Cyberknife a successful tool for treating early Lung Cancer

Cyberknife a successful tool for treating early Lung Cancer

New Delhi : 78 year old Mr. A was taken aback when a small spot in the right lung on chest X ray turned out to be adenocarcinoma ( a type of cancer) after the biopsy. He had a number of associated health problems – COPD, diabetes, heart disease for which he had undergone bypass surgery 8 year back. He was considered very high anesthetic risk. He was advised surgery for the cancer, however due to the high anesthetic risk, he was not a suitable candidate and surgery was ruled out. He then heard about Cyberknife treatment for lung cancer and opted for it. He underwent 3 sessions of treatment and his PET CT scan 3 months later is showing that the tumor has reduced by about 75%.

How common is lung cancer in India?

Lung Cancer is one of the most common cancers in India and has emerged as Global Killer. According to the GLOBOCAN 2012 report - Lung cancer ranked fourth overall among the various types of cancer in India; in males, it ranked second while in females it was sixth in terms of cancer incidence. The incidence of lung cancer is increasing each year with the trends in India following its global counterpart. With time, there has been a better understanding of the biology of the disease, with screening protocols put in place to detect the signs of lung cancer at an early stage.

Most lung cancers in India are detected at a stage when it has spread beyond the lung into the lymph nodes or other organs. Statistically, only 16% are diagnosed when confined to the local site, which signals early stage disease. Lung cancer has good cure rates when detected early. This is reflected in the 5 year survival rate for lung cancer which is around 56 % for localized disease, and 30% for disease which has spread to the nodes says Dr. Jayalakshmi Sr. Consultant Radiation Oncology, Artemis Hospital, Gurugram

Who is the main culprit?

The primary risk factor for lung cancer is smoking tobacco, which accounts for most lung cancer related deaths. Cigarette smoke contains many cancer producing chemicals like nitrosamines and benzopyrenes. The risk for lung cancer increases with the number of packs of cigrattes smoked per day, and with the number of years spent smoking. Exposed non smokers also have an increased relative risk of developing lung cancer from second hand smoke. Stopping smoking brings down the risk of developing lung cancer. The decline is overall risk following stopping of smoking (called cessation) starts within 2-5 years of stopping smoking especially in people below 50 years of age.

What are the treatment options?

Surgery remains the gold standard of treatment in early stage lung cancers. However, there has been a search for nonsurgical, but curative treatment, more so in patients who are medically inoperable (that means the cancer as such is operable, however the patient cannot undergo surgery due to anesthetic risk), and in patients with a small tumour which has recurred (come back) after prior treatment. These are patients who earlier hit the dead end – now , Cyberknife treatment ( called SBRT or SABR in lung) is an easy, non invasive therapy available with proven and equal efficacy in these patients. The effectiveness of Cyberknife treatment has made it a treatment option in early stage node negative non small cell lung cancers who are medically inoperable and has been incorporated into NCCN protocols.

Why M6 Cyberknife is preferred?

The CyberKnife system is a method of delivering radiotherapy, with the intention of targeting treatment more accurately than standard radiotherapy. It consists of two main components : Linac which produces the radiation, and  a robotic arm which allows the energy to be directed at any part of the body from any direction.

CyberKnife radiation surgery is the most advanced, non invasive radiation therapy tool available to treat cancerous as well as non cancerous diseases with the help of precise beams of high-dose radiation. It is a no pain and a no risk day-care treatment wherein patients are discharged as soon as the session gets over and therefore, no hospitalisation is required. The treatment uses a sophisticated image guidance system to beam high doses of radiation directly to your tumor. 

The Cy