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Local Ablative Therapy for Oligometastatic Lung Cancer

By: Meg Barbor, MPH
Posted: Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Local ablative therapies such as surgery and radiotherapy have traditionally been limited to the palliation of symptoms in advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but in patients with oligometastatic disease, these therapies for the primary tumor may improve outcomes, according to Matteo Brighenti, MD, of Cremona, Italy, and colleagues. Defined as a disease with a low metastatic burden and limited organ involvement, oligometastatic NSCLC is considered an intermediate condition between a true localized disease and a widely metastatic tumor.

Published in the European Journal of Cancer, the results of the first randomized phase II study of local consolidative therapy versus maintenance therapy or observation in oligometastatic NSCLC showed significant improvement in median progression-free survival and a delay in the appearance of new lesions, suggesting an extended benefit of consolidation therapies. Additionally, the results of several retrospective studies indicate that using local ablative therapy for patients with this type of lung cancer may offer good local tumor control and improved outcomes.

The investigators concluded that these data support the use of local treatment techniques as a potential new standard of care for selected patients with NSCLC. However, they noted, future trials are needed to confirm these preliminary findings.