Radiotherapy – a recognized and generally accepted method of treating cancer. However, the results of a recent study led researchers to question of the appropriateness of routine use of irradiation to many cancer patients.
"Perhaps, many cancer patients receive treatment, which does not extend their lives – writes an authoritative magazine of the American Cancer Community «Cancer». – In some cases, including running, but not widespread lung cancer, the purpose of irradiation is not justified, at least in elderly patients. "
Patients with locally advanced lung cancer that had taken over only certain lymph nodes, usually undergo surgery, during which the tumor is removed. Subsequently, due to the fact that cancer is characterized by relapse, doctors often prescribe radiotherapy to reduce the risk of recurrence of the tumor. A team of scientists led by Professor of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, Dr. Juan Wisnivesky conducted a study whose main objective was to determine whether radiation therapy.
During the study, researchers examined the credentials of health insurance program Medicare for older people. In particular, they examined data from 1307 patients with developed lung cancer in history.
Of all the cases examined 710 patients (54%) after surgery had a course of radiotherapy, but the life expectancy of these 54% of patients did not differ from that of other patients. "The results of our study – is reason to think, and again carefully assess the potential benefits of radiation therapy in some cases," – said Dr. Wisnivesky.
In particular, the source of such estimates may be going today, the results are already on the third stage randomized clinical trial of the effectiveness of radiotherapy in patients with locally advanced lung cancer.