- 16 Oct
Left to right: Dr Sagar Ramani and Mr William Wallace meeting for a follow up appointment one month after receiving SABR treatment for lung cancer.
Physicists, radiation therapists and radiation oncologists from all corners of Australia came together in August to collaborate on our next advancements in stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy (SABR) for patients with early lung cancer. SABR is a highly precise technique that delivers a much higher dose of radiation to a tumour over a shorter time period (1 week compared to 6 weeks) than possible through conventional radiation therapy.
Workshop lead, Dr Sagar Ramani, said it was terrific to bring everyone together to share knowledge and expertise about the cutting-edge technique.
“We developed protocols for peripheral lung SABR back in 2014, and SABR lung is now widely available across our network. A year and a half ago we also started talking about how we could approach central lung tumours.
“Historically, treating central lung lesions with SABR was associated with increased toxicity. This meant that either conventional radiation therapy was used, with poorer outcomes, or in some cases patients couldn’t access treatment at all.
“Thankfully, we are now seeing results of a new clinical trial (RTOG 0813) presented at ASTRO last year and reports from groups like MD Anderson and VU university Amsterdam which show, that with careful planning, it is possible to deliver positive outcomes with SABR for central lung tumours, with less toxicity compared to older reports. Our high-end equipment gives us the capacity to treat these kinds of patients. Our workshop in August was about collaborating to work through how patients were carefully selected; targets and other organs mapped; treatment was planned; safety features including quality assurance; how to capture data on outcomes; credentialing and finalising a protocol for central lung SABR.
“We are very fortunate to be surrounded by so many passionate team members who have contributed to problem solving around SABR, as we strive to deliver the best possible outcomes for patients.”
Dr Ramani said he hopes that we’ll see SABR delivered to more complex lung cancer patients across the network in the next 12 months.