Radiation Therapy in Treating Patients With Extensive Stage Small Cell Lung Cancer

Radiation therapy is a therapy generally part of cancer treatment that involves ionizing radiation to obliterate cancer cells from the body. Radiation therapy is effective in curing localized cancers as well as in preventing cancer recurrence. It controls malignant cell growth by damaging the DNA of exposed cell tissue. Specialized radiation beams are used in order to target only malignant cells so as not to destroy healthy cells in the process. Radiation therapy is used in conjunction with chemotherapy, done before, after and during chemotherapy. Radiation therapy is also done in conjunction with cancer removal surgery, immunotherapy and hormone therapy.

Small cell lung cancer, otherwise known as small cell carcinoma, is a highly malignant type of cancer. Small cell lung cancer usually originates in the lung and occasionally in the prostate or cervix. The stage of the cancer’s development or severity is typically ascertained based on the whether or not the tumor in the lungs can be targeted within a single radiotherapy portal. Other factors that contribute to determining the stage of small cell lung cancer include whether or not there are metastases and whether or not the tumor is visibly restricted to the thorax. The two stages of small cell lung cancer are the limited stage (LS) and the extensive stage (ES).

(see also: Cancer Clinical Trials)

In treating LS small cell lung cancer, a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy is applied. Metastatic cancers are generally incurable by radiation therapy because such cancers are present throughout the body, and radiation cannot treat the entire body. Therefore, a clinical trial in Jacksonville, Florida is taking place to research whether ES small cell lung cancer, a metastatic cancer, can be treated at all by radiation therapy.

The study is researching whether radiation therapy is effective in treating extensive stage small cell lung cancer by doing a comparison between how well radiation therapy to the brain works when administered with and without radiation therapy to other areas of the body. The clinical trial is a phase two interventional study that began recruiting patients and researching in March 2010. The trial is currently recruiting patient participants with extensive stage small cell lung cancer. Both male and female patients are welcome to participate in the trial as long as they are of age 18 and over. The trial is taking place at Integrated Community Oncology Network (ICON) in Jacksonville Beach, a suburb of Jacksonville.

(see also: Clinical Trials in Jacksonville)

Integrated Community Oncology Network provides all-inclusive cancer care to thousands of patients in Northern Florida. The oncologists, radiation oncologists, urologists and oncologic radiologists at ICON use state of the art treatments and perform comprehensive clinical research. ICON is one of the largest private practice oncologic entities in the United States. In addition to offering an online networking database for its patients, ICON’s staff provides caring, thorough and multidisciplinary care to its patients.