Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy tops for inoperable early NSCLC

Australian and New Zealand research confirms what clinicians suspected

Compared with standard radiotherapy, stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy (SABR) provides better local control and improved survival in patients with inoperable non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to results of the CHISEL study.

"The findings of this trial suggest that SABR should be the treatment of choice for this patient group," the study team concludes in The Lancet Oncology.

While SABR is widely used to treat inoperable early-stage NSCLC, CHISEL is the first randomized controlled trial comparing it to standard radiotherapy, write first author, Dr David Ball from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Center in Melbourne, and colleagues.

The trial enrolled 101 patients from 11 Australian hospiotals and three hospitals in New Zealand. Participants had peripherally located stage-1 NSCLC and were either unfit for, or refused, surgery; 35 were randomly allocated to conventional radiotherapy and 66 to SABR.