Surgery versus stereotactic body radiotherapy in medically operable non-small cell lung cancer
Surgical resection by means of a lobectomy is the treatment of choice for early stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but the disadvantages of the traditional open lobectomy has led to interest in exploring other treatment options for medically operable patients. Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) was first developed to treat medically inoperable patients, but there is now interest in expanding its use to medically operable patients. We review the current evidence comparing the use of surgery versus SBRT in NSCLC, and conclude that current evidence still favors the use of surgery to treat eligible patients. Furthermore, recent advances in the field of thoracic surgery such as video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) and the development of non-intubated thoracic surgery should further improve the outcome for lung cancer patients undergoing surgery.