New radiation techniques could improve quality of life for lung cancer patients
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IMAGE: This is Drs. David Palma (left) and Alexander Louie (right), scientists at Lawson Health Research Institute and radiation oncologists at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC). view more 

Credit: Lawson Health Research Institute

LONDON, ON – While palliative radiation therapy is used to ease pain in patients with advanced lung cancer, it often has adverse effects on the esophagus which leads to symptoms like heartburn and difficulty swallowing. Through the PROACTIVE clinical trial, Lawson Health Research Institute scientist Dr. Alexander Louie is testing new palliative radiation techniques to spare these effects on the esophagus and improve quality of life for lung cancer patients.

PROACTIVE first launched at the London Regional Cancer Program (LRCP) at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) in late 2016. It is now active at five centres across Canada with over 40 patients participating.

The clinical trial uses more precise radiation techniques to reduce the dosage of radiation to the esophagus or ‘swallowing passage.’ As a phase three randomized controlled trial, research participants are randomly selected to receive either standard palliative radiation or palliative radiation that uses these new techniques.

Patients are followed for one year after the completion of palliative radiation to assess and compare their

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