Other types of external radiotherapy for NSCLC

CHART for non-small cell lung cancer

Chart stands for continuous hyper-fractionated accelerated radiotherapy.

Instead of one session of radiotherapy a day for several weeks, with CHART you have three sessions a day, including weekends. But you have it over fewer weeks. Reducing time between treatment sessions means there is less time for fast-growing cancer cells to recover. You usually have to stay in the hospital or somewhere close by during treatment.

The total dose of radiotherapy is the same whether you have standard radiotherapy or CHART.

Studies show CHART may work better than standard radiotherapy for certain people with NSCLC. It may be a possible treatment if you have:

  • stage 1 or 2 NSCLC and surgery is not possible.
  • stage 3 NSCLC and you aren’t well enough to have chemotherapy and radiotherapy together (chemoradiation).

Your doctor can talk to you about whether CHART may be suitable for you. You may have to travel to another hospital to have it.

Stereotactic radiotherapy for NSCLC

Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) is a specialised type of radiotherapy. Doctors use scans and specialist machinery to make the radiotherapy beams more precise. This means they can reach small cancers with a high dose of radiotherapy but only give a very low dose to healthy tissue around the tumour. This helps to reduce side effects. SABR may be used to treat NSCLC that is small when surgery is not possible. It is only suitable for some people and you may need to go to another hospital to have it. You usually have it over a shorter period of time than standard external radiotherapy – for example, three, five or eight treatments over two weeks.

Back to External beam radiotherapy explained

What is external beam radiotherapy?

External beam radiotherapy is the most common type of radiotherapy. A big machine directs external radiotherapy beams at the affected area.