Dr. Urbanic on the Evolution of Radiation in NSCLC

James Urbanic, MD
Published: Thursday, May 24, 2018



James Urbanic, MD, associate professor, Radiation Medicine and Applied Sciences, University of California, San Diego, discusses the evolution of radiation therapy in the treatment of patients with oligometastatic non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Historically, chemotherapy has had modest effectiveness in this population. This led surgeons to pioneer the idea of taking out a few small metastatic sites, Urbanic says. Similarly, as radiation progressed, Urbanic says that radiologists have gotten better at picking off small sites of disease with very high-dose radiation treatments. This has provided the opportunity to control those spots in 9 out of 10 cases.

As chemotherapy improved, the idea of interdigitating radiation therapy into the overall treatment plan of a patient with oligometastatic NSCLC is beginning to make more sense, says Urbanic. Patients with smaller amounts of metastatic disease have experienced longer durable survival times, Urbanic concludes.


James Urbanic, MD, associate professor, Radiation Medicine and Applied Sciences, University of California, San Diego, discusses the evolution of radiation therapy in the treatment of patients with oligometastatic non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Historically, chemotherapy has had modest effectiveness in this population. This led surgeons to pioneer the idea of taking out a few small metastatic sites, Urbanic says. Similarly, as radiation progressed, Urbanic says that radiologists have gotten better at picking off small sites of disease with very high-dose radiation treatments. This has provided the opportunity to control those spots in 9 out of 10 cases.

As chemotherapy improved, the idea of interdigitating radiation therapy into the overall treatment plan of a patient with oligometastatic NSCLC is beginning to make more sense, says Urbanic. Patients with smaller amounts of metastatic disease have experienced longer durable survival times, Urbanic concludes.

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