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Sculpting radiation beam spares lung cancer patients from severe, disabling complication

Press releases may be edited for formatting or style | April 26, 2021 Rad Oncology

To better determine the frequency of esophagitis in patients treated with CEST, the investigators designed a phase 1 trial with 27 patients, 25 of whom completed combined chemotherapy and radiation. Of this group, ranging from 51 to 81 years of age, 19 had non-small-cell lung cancer, and 6 had small-cell lung cancer.

None of the 25 patients who completed chemoradiation developed grade 3 esophagitis, while 7 experienced grade 2 esophagitis. Other treatment side effects were within the range of what can be expected for this type of cancer. Two-thirds of patients remained alive at two years after chemoradiation, and none had an isolated local tumor recurrence.

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"Our findings support emerging national guidelines, which are increasingly recognizing the importance of sparing the esophagus, although an effective method to do so has neither been formalized nor well defined until now. This is the first prospective trial reporting on the use of a formalized technique," says Kamran.

Olsen is co-senior author. Other co-authors are Beow Y. Yeap, ScD; Christine A. Ulysse, MS; Catherine Cronin, BS; Cynthia L. Bowes, MSN, MS; Brittany Durgin, BSN; Justin F. Gainor, MD, PhD; Melin J. Khandekar, MD, PhD; Joanna Y. Tansky, MD; and Florence K. Keane, MD, all from MGH.

The study was supported by the PAN-MASS Challenge and by the Federal Share of program income earned by Massachusetts General Hospital.

About the Massachusetts General Hospital
Massachusetts General Hospital, founded in 1811, is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The Mass General Research Institute conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the nation, with annual research operations of more than $1 billion and comprises more than 9,500 researchers working across more than 30 institutes, centers and departments. In August 2020, Mass General was named #6 in the U.S. News & World Report list of "America's Best Hospitals."

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