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Stereotactic Radiation (aka SRS)

Posts: 41
Joined: Apr 2010

My wife is fighting nsclc w/ mets to brain and lymphnodes since September 09. Early WBR slowed and actually stabilized the multiple brain lesions, that is until reviewing last weeks MRI. Also, she is on the chemo/Taxotere arm of the ALK 1066 trial, of which she has received 8 doses of the Taxotere. CT Scans also showed new activity in the lung area so her doctor has stopped chemo and ordered a meeting with a brain / radiation specialist to discuss the possibility of using Stereotactic Radiation (aka SRS) for two (2) of the Brain tumors. Does anyone have any information for us in terms of what to expect? process, side effects etc/ Also, if anyone out there has used Stereotactic Radiation on a lung tumor I would like to hear about that experience as well. Our next steps are in question at this point, Crizotinib was the supposed to be the next process should the Taxotere stopped being effective, but there is a concern as whether to use it now. Will have more answers after tomorrows meeting with the Brain specialist. It sounds to us that they need to address the brain tumors before they proceed with the lung treatment. My wife is having a difficult time walking due to fluid retention and neuropathy, she also tires very easily. Sorry for rambling on, but my fingers are just following the many questions in my head.

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1576
Joined: May 2009

I'm sorry to hear about your wife's continuing problems. I received Cisplatin and radiation for SCC laryngeal cancer, after completing this I received SRS for the NSCLC in my left lung. They decided to use this type of radiation because the tumor was on the Pulmonary artery (or vein...can't remember which) and SRS is more targeted and does not destroy as many good cells.

The procedure is quite simple and painless, it just takes longer because they have to get everything lined up exactly before they start the treatment. The first visit is the longest as they tattoo the area and make a body cast for you to lay in for the treatments. My first visit took about 3 hours and then I received 4 treatments which took approximately an hour each.

I had great success with this type of treatment, the tumor shrank and as of my last CT scan in August the doctor told me that if the tumor was there it was so small that it was hiding behind the scar tissue. I am 15 months post treatment for both cancers and still in remission. My cancers were not mets, I just happened to have two completely different types of cancers at the same time.

The side effects weren't severe, it was mostly fatigue which is common with any type of radiation.

Are they considering this type of treatment for the lung or brain?

I understand your fear and concerns but please know that this type of treatment has great results and I would go through it again if I had to.

Please stay in touch so we will know how your wife, and you, are doing and feel free to ask any questions you think of.

Stay strong,

Sorry, just reread your post and realize this is for the brain tumors so she may not need to have the entire body cast made but the treatment will be the same...no pain and great results!!

Posts: 41
Joined: Apr 2010

Thanks for the information Glenna, I am very happy to hear about the positive results you have experienced, now we are hoping for the same. Initially we were told that radiation to the lung/chest area would be too much to handle due to the area(s) affected, I was hoping this targeted style (SRS)radiation may be an option,but I honestly believe they would have presented it as an option by now. We are dealing with an exceptional oncology team at Mass General Hospital in Boston. We are meeting with a radiologist today and will most likely begin a new treatment right away, either way my wife is ready to do whatever she needs to.
Wishing you continued success in your fight, keep up the good work!


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