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Radiation therapy for NSCLC

Radiation therapy uses high energy radiation to treat cancer and to ease symptoms (palliation) caused by the cancer in the lungs or those caused by a spread to other parts of the body. It can be given externally or implanted inside the tumor (brachytherapy). Radiation is often used in combination with other forms of treatment and there is evidence that in some circumstances, using chemotherapy and radiation together is more effective than either alone: 

Curran et al. 2011. Sequential vs Concurrent Chemoradiation for Stage III Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer: Randomized Phase III Trial RTOG 9410. JNCI 103 (19): 1452-1460


Learn about radiation therapy

Radiation therapy for non-small cell lung cancer (American Cancer Society)

Radiation therapy and you (National Cancer Institute)

Preparing for radiation: Step-by-step through treatment (University of California Davis Cancer Center)


Types of radiation therapy

External beam therapy

External beam therapy including intensity modulated radiotherapy, image guided radiotherapy, stereotactic and stereotactic body radiosurgery, and proton therapy. (

Stereotactic radiosurgery overview (includes list of Centers of Excellence) and image guided radiotherapy (International RadioSurgery Association-IRSA)


Brachytherapy (

About brachytherapy (American Brachytherapy Society)

Websites for specific types of radiation machines used to treat NSCLC 

TomoTherapy (Accuray)

CyberKnife (Accuray)

Gamma Knife (Elekta)

Novalis Radiosurgery (Brainlab AG)


See also:

Radiation side effects

Palliative care

Treatment of metastases