Simple Changes in Care Reduced Heart Exposure During Lung Cancer Radiation Treatment

April 8, 2022

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Presented by Health Lab

Patients undergoing treatment for locally advanced lung cancer can also experience radiation to the heart, putting them at risk for major adverse cardiac events within the first two years following treatment. In partnership with colleagues across the state, a team at the U-M Health Rogel Cancer Center found that raising awareness about the risk of radiation exposure to the heart and standardizing cardiac exposure limits reduced the average dose to the heart by 15%. Increased awareness also reduced the number of patients receiving the highest heart doses by half without minimizing tumor treatment or increasing dosage to other at-risk organs. Daniel Herr, M.D., Ph.D., radiation oncology resident and first author of this study, shares insights on the research and implications for clinical practice.

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