Thoracic Cancer Program/Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy Program

Director:    Roy H. Decker MD, PhD

Patients with cancer of the lung and other chest malignancies who are seen in the department of therapeutic radiology (radiation oncology) are evaluated and managed in a coordinated fashion with their medical oncologist, surgeon and pulmonary physicians. For those who receive radiotherapy, state of the art treatment planning with incorporation of PET-CT imaging is performed to target the tumor while minimizing normal tissue toxicity. Patients are simulated with the use of a CT scanner to more accurately delineate tumor and lymph node location. Treatment plans are performed with 3-dimensional techniques and the CT simulation process takes place in the department of therapeutic radiology. The use of 4-dimentional simulation with cine loops is incorporated into our program, which allows for further advances in the targeting of lung cancer lesions taking movement in 'real time' into account while sparing additional normal tissues. The expectation is that side effects may be minimized further and targeting will be more accurate. This represents one of the latest, cutting edge technical modalities available for patients receiving radiation therapy for lung cancer. Clinical trials are available to patients who qualify.

Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy for Lung Tumors

Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT) is available at Yale for the treatment of isolated lung tumors which may either represent small primary lung cancers, or metastasis from another location in the body. The latest technology and equipment are utilized to provide highly accurate and focused radiation to the area in question. Therapy is typically provided in 3-5 treatment sessions following detailed treatment design integrating state of the art technologies such as PET-CT scanning, 4-dimensional simulation(4-D Sim), and comfortable stabilization to minimize body motion during radiotherapy delivery. This cutting edge technology offers a non-invasive, and potentially curative approach to lung tumors.

Faculty