Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): current concepts and future directions

Steven W. Davis, Douglas A. Rahn III, Ajay P. Sandhu


The standard of care for treatment of early-stage lung cancer continues to be definitive surgery with lobectomy or pneumonectomy. However, there are patients who refuse surgery or due to several factors, including high operative risk, are not surgical candidates. Fractionated, standard-dosed radiation has been shown to offer suboptimal control and survival rates. In these patients, stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) is increasingly becoming a viable, safe, and effective alternative to surgery. An emerging and expanding body of evidence is showing the technical feasibility and ablative properties of relatively short courses and high doses of SBRT. This review will focus on the emergence of the technique, the current status of its use and the future directions of study that will further define how we use SBRT in the treatment of early stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).