The Problem

The standard of care for stage I non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is removal of the tumor by surgery. However, surgery requires a patient to stay in the hospital for the procedure and recovery. Stereotactic radiotherapy, an alternative treatment for stage I NSCLC involving very precise radiation delivery to a tumor, is being used more and more. Stereotactic radiotherapy is an outpatient procedure, meaning patients can avoid staying in the hospital. Although stereotactic radiotherapy can be beneficial to patients and their recovery, doctors do not know for sure if it is as effective at treating the tumor as surgery. This makes deciding when to use stereotactic radiotherapy instead of surgery difficult for stage I NSCLC patients and their doctors.

The Study

The VALOR (Veterans Affairs Lung Cancer or Stereotactic Radiotherapy) trial will recruit stage I NSCLC patients from multiple VA Medical Centers across the country. Patients who participate in this trial will be treated randomly with either surgery or stereotactic radiotherapy. Doctors will then follow these patients for many years to see if there is any difference in how well the treatments work against their cancer. This trial will show if one treatment is better or if they are both just as good at treating the cancer. The VA Medical Centers are well suited for this study as they have doctors who are experts in both treatments and also see many stage I NSCLC patients.

How Lung Cancer Alliance Is Involved

Lung Cancer Alliance staff directly engaged with the VALOR study team, while the study was being designed, to provide input from lung cancer survivors and we continue to be a proud supporter of the trial. The study is led by Dr. Drew Moghanaki, MD, who is a member of our Medical and Professional Advisory Board, as well as Dr. Tomer Karas, MD.

How Can You Help?

If you are a stage I NSCLC patient starting treatment at a VA Medical Center, your doctor may ask you if you want to join the VALOR trial. Consider participating in the study to receive high quality care and contribute to the effort to know the most effective way to treat early stage lung cancers.

How Is This Research Funded?

This study is funded by the Veterans Affairs Office of Research and Development.