Dr. Urbanic on the Role of Radiotherapy in Oligometastatic NSCLC

James Urbanic, MD

James Urbanic, MD, associate professor, Radiation Medicine and Applied Sciences, University of California, San Diego, discusses the role of radiotherapy in oligometastatic non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Now that physicians have immunotherapy, Urbanic says that they are figuring out where exactly to interdigitate radiation treatment. Urbanic says it may be upfront in trying to generate a heightened immune response, or it may have a role further into the treatment course as a means to re-stimulate efficacy after immunotherapy. It may also be used after shrinking larger tumors to a certain size.

Data from a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine looking at chemotherapy versus chemotherapy plus immunotherapy suggested a benefit that exceeds anything that has ever been seen in metastatic lung cancer, Urbanic says. This will impact how physicians think about interdigitating radiation. If anything, it is going to make it more important as more patients with a historically poor prognosis are introduced to the treatment, says Urbanic.
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