Advanced Treatment for Lung Cancer

Lung cancer closely follows prostate and breast cancer in how the disease affects our community. For patients who are unable to undergo surgery, Meritus Health’s John R. Marsh Cancer Center offers radiosurgery, a type of radiation therapy which can treat certain cancers with precise, high-dose radiation in several treatments.

What’s radiosurgery?

In radiosurgery, highly focused radiation destroys cancer versus surgically removing a tumor. The John R. Marsh Cancer Center’s TrueBeam™ radiotherapy/radiosurgery system delivers pinpoint precision treatments in up to half the time of other systems. “Shorter treatment time means greater patient comfort during treatment,” explains Edward Jung, M.D., radiation oncologist. And the less time a patient remains in a treatment position, the less likely positioning errors occur.

How does it work?

The precision of TrueBeam™ radiosurgery is measured by fractions of a millimeter. Before performing radiosurgery, CT scans or an MRI help the radiation oncologist map the specific treatment area. During treatment, TrueBeam’s™ built-in imager checks and adjusts patient positioning and tumor motion due to the patient’s breathing for accurate tumor targeting. And unlike other radiosurgical systems such as CyberKnife™, TrueBeam’s™ CT imaging eliminates the need for “tumor markers” to be placed in the patient’s tumor, making it the least minimally invasive approach to cancer treatment.

Lung cancer and radiosurgery

At the John R. Marsh Cancer Center, radiosurgery is used to treat early-stage lung cancer when:

  • Lung cancer cannot be removed surgically because of size, location or the patient’s poor health.
  • After surgery to destroy any remaining cancer.
  • For recurrent lung cancers after prior radiation treatments.

Skill counts

While technology plays an important role in treating cancer, the skill and experience of the radiation oncologists, medical physicists and radiation therapists matters most. Fellowship trained in radiosurgery at the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Jung has authored book chapters on radiosurgery. Specially trained medical physicists design computer models of patients’ tumors, evaluate treatment plans and perform quality assurance checks on the TrueBeam™ system.

“This is state-of-the-art technology that matches equipment at any major medical center,” says Dr. Jung.