Last year in the UK over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials aimed at improving cancer treatments and making them available to all.
A study to see if a new type of CT scan can help improve radiotherapy outcomes for non small cell lung cancer
If your non small cell lung cancer cannot be removed with surgery, you may have
Doctors are starting to use a new type of CT scan that allows for lung cancer movement caused by breathing. The 4D CT scan takes pictures throughout your breathing cycle. Doctors may be able to use these pictures to give radiotherapy to the lung more accurately, and so protect more healthy tissue.
The aim of this study was to see how much healthy lung tissue doctors treated if they planned radiotherapy with a 4D CT scan.
Summary of results
The study team found that using 4D CT scan could improve radiotherapy treatment for people with non small cell lung cancer.
This was a pilot study. It recruited 10 people who all had their radiotherapy treatment planned using the standard 3D CT scan. For 7 people, it was possible to compare the standard plans with plans made using 4D CT scans. 3 doctors made separate 4D CT plans. It was shown that there was better agreement between the doctors when using the 4D CT scan compared with the standard images. Also, the planned target volume was significantly smaller for the 4D CT plans.
The researchers also compared 4 different ways of calculating the target volume from the 4D CT scan. They found that 1 way was much better than the others for planning radiotherapy.
The researchers also compared the doses of radiotherapy to the cancer and the surrounding healthy tissue when using the 4D CT scan and the 3D CT scan. They found that there was a smaller dose of radiotherapy to the healthy tissue using the 4D CT scan.
The team concluded that using the 4D CT scan to plan radiotherapy for people with non small cell lung cancer can reduce the amount of radiotherapy to the surrounding healthy tissue.
We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Dr Matthew Hatton
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
Weston Park Hospital Cancer Appeal