By the end of 2021, lung cancer is expected to be one of the most commonly diagnosed tumours in Spain. However, more worrying are the mortality figures for this type of tumour, accounting for up to 20% of cancer deaths in the last year.
Fortunately, thanks to clinical research and the development of new technology in oncology field, there are more options than ever to deal with this disease.
Personalised treatment is the always the best option, adapted to the specific type of tumour (location, extent, how aggressive it is, its molecular features, etc.) but also adapted to the patients themselves, their age, health, lifestyle, etc.
Radiotherapy is one of the pillars in the multidisciplinary treatment of these tumours. The aim of treatment is curative for patients with early-stage disease who do not wish to undergo invasive surgery, it is also the best alternative for those who are not candidates for surgical treatment due to their medical history.
Radiotherapy offered in the early stages of cancer is known as SBRT (Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy) and requires very precise technology for its delivery, as it targets high doses of radiation at the region to be treated, shortening treatment times and increasing the effective radiobiological dose in the tumour.
One of the biggest difficulties faced during lung treatment is the movement from breathing, the torso moves with each breath. Lung tumours therefore move continuously during treatment delivery. If the radiation beam does not adapt and synchronise to the movement of the tumour, the dose delivered to it may be insufficient, with an increase in the dose administered to surrounding healthy tissue. This can affect the overall effectiveness of treatment and potentially increase the incidence and severity of side effects.
Very few centres have a tumour tracking system capable of detecting movement and ensuring that the radiation beam follows the tumour in real time, without stopping treatment. But at HC we go a step further. Thanks to the Synchrony system, not only do we perform real-time tumour tracking, but our patients do not require internal fiducial markers (small seeds, generally gold and measuring millimetres in size, inserted to help externally locate the tumour) as it is simply controlled by positioning LEDs on the skin of the patient’s chest, thus avoiding the possible risks of fiducial siting and/or migration (pneumothorax). This makes us unique in Spain and places us in an international group of centres that have this incredible advanced technology.
For those patients with locally advanced disease where radiotherapy and chemotherapy are the treatment of choice, we also continue to offer high quality, minimally invasive and highly conformal radiotherapy that adapts to the shape of the volume to be treated.
This allows us to apply a lower dose of radiation to healthy tissue and organs, with fewer side effects, a better quality of life and the ability to intensify treatment and increase disease control. We can therefore confront these mortality figures and continue to improve them, offering our patients the best non-invasive cancer treatment.
Dra. Paula Sedano Ferreras
Especialista en Oncología Radioterápica
November 26, 2021
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