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- Question: My wife, age 63, was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer, in February, 2010. At that time the cancer had spread to two places on her spinal cord, and one place in her brain. Since then she has undergone stereotactic radio surgery for the brain tumor, and radiation, plus six sessions of chemotherapy, for the other tumors. After the fourth session of chemo, a PET scan revealed that the lung and spinal cord tumors were gone. She received an MRI on July 28th, that indicated the brain tumor was also gone. Considering her excellent response to treatment thus far, does she really want to risk the possible side effects of whole brain radiation, which is the next recommended procedure? The only alternative offered her, was to decline the radiation, and get another MRI every three months, to watch for recurring lesions. Where can we find the latest line of thinking on this controversial subject?
You should be at a major center who treats more than 50 patients,
like your wife, a year. The pros and cons of whole brain vs
targeted radiation in small cell lung cancer is basic and known and
should be explained by your treating radiation oncologist or neurooncologist.
See the www.virtualtrials.com website or
www.survivingbraincancer.com site (Chapter 7) for locations of the
major centers that can offer expertise and consultation.
Paul Zeltzer MD