Beaumont Radiation Oncologists Share Treatment Advances at National Meeting


As lung cancer continues to be the leading cause of cancer deaths nationwide, oncologists at Beaumont Health in Royal Oak unveiled a model lung cancer program developed by a team of researchers at the American Society of Radiation Oncology’s 59th annual meeting in San Diego. The study, entitled The Beaumont Health Experience, is one of 25 studies presented by Beaumont radiation oncologists to improve screening and early detection strategies.

For The Beaumont Health Experience, researchers studied the outcomes and cost-effectiveness of those patients that had a positive screening result and were diagnosed with lung cancer. From Jan. 2014 to Dec. 2016, 3,468 patients were screened on a low-dose CT screening protocol.

“The establishment of a low-dose CT lung screening program improved the ability to screen patients as demonstrated by the number of patients screened and those diagnosed with cancer,” says Thomas Lanni, lead researcher and vice president for oncology services at the Beaumont Cancer Institute. “Early detection of lung cancer saves lives. It is a critical first step in the path to affordable, quality patient outcomes.”

The study’s findings were consistent with those of the National Lung Screening Trial. Researchers identified 624 participants with positive scores, and from that group, 49 were diagnosed with lung cancer. The American College of Radiology Lung Imaging Reporting and Data System was then used to assign a score for each patient. Screening eligibility criteria were based on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services guidelines and follow up based on Lung-Reporting and Data System guidelines.

Beaumont radiation oncologist Dr. Peter Chen also studied the long-term effectiveness of two-day brachytherapy to treat breast cancer. Between 2004-2007, 45 patients aged 43-83 with early-stage breast cancer were treated with two-day accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI).

“Our research demonstrated the two-day brachytherapy for selected early-stage breast cancer patients has excellent clinical effectiveness,” says Dr. Chen. “The accelerated treatment, not only shortens the irradiation to two days, compared to several weeks of whole breast external beam treatments, but has shown a positive impact on the patient’s quality of life.”

APBI is used to treat the part of the breast at highest risk for cancer, rather than the entire breast. This technique delivers a high-quality radioactive seed about the size of a grain of rice though catheters, balloon-based, or strut-based brachytherapy applicators, while minimizing radiation exposure to the healthy breast tissue.

In another study, Dr. Chen and his research team compared brachytherapy to external beam 3-D conformal radiation therapy in the delivery of APBI to patients with early-stage breast cancer. From 1993-2006, 784 patients were treated with APBI, 567 with brachytherapy and 217 with 3-D conformal radiation therapy, which shapes the radiation to match the tumor shape.

“Accelerated partial breast irradiation with either brachytherapy or 3-D CRT in selected early-stage breast cancer patients results in comparable clinical outcomes in terms of local control and survival outcomes,” says Dr. Chen. “Continued follow up will be needed to assess the long-term effectiveness and equivalence of these two forms of radiation treatments.”

Additionally, Beaumont Children’s has received a new round of financial support from Children’s Miracle Network. More than $825,000 in funding will be used to enhance pediatric programs throughout Beaumont Health’s metro Detroit locations.

More information about Beaumont’s radiation oncology department can be found here.