Dr. Decker on Current Role of Radiation in NSCLC

Roy Decker MD, PhD
Published: Monday, Jan 28, 2019



Roy Decker, MD, PhD, associate professor of Therapeutic Radiology, Yale Cancer Center, discusses the current role of radiation therapy in the treatment of patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Due to the rise of more effective therapies than in previous years, patients are living longer, thus making the management of metastatic disease more important, Decker says. One of the newest indications for radiation is for patients with oligometastic disease—patients who have metastases at diagnosis or after therapy, but with limited sites of disease. Recent studies have shown a survival benefit when adding radiation, surgery, or ablative techniques to a limited number of metastatic sites, when patients have oligometastases, after first-line chemotherapy.

With immunotherapy and targeted agents, physicians are seeing patients recur at isolated sites of disease. These are patients who had several sites of metastases, but are now progressing in 1 or disease locations, Decker says. Aggressive local radiation is an option here, Decker says, so patients can continue to benefit from the systemic therapy they are responding to in other areas.


Roy Decker, MD, PhD, associate professor of Therapeutic Radiology, Yale Cancer Center, discusses the current role of radiation therapy in the treatment of patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Due to the rise of more effective therapies than in previous years, patients are living longer, thus making the management of metastatic disease more important, Decker says. One of the newest indications for radiation is for patients with oligometastic disease—patients who have metastases at diagnosis or after therapy, but with limited sites of disease. Recent studies have shown a survival benefit when adding radiation, surgery, or ablative techniques to a limited number of metastatic sites, when patients have oligometastases, after first-line chemotherapy.

With immunotherapy and targeted agents, physicians are seeing patients recur at isolated sites of disease. These are patients who had several sites of metastases, but are now progressing in 1 or disease locations, Decker says. Aggressive local radiation is an option here, Decker says, so patients can continue to benefit from the systemic therapy they are responding to in other areas.



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