Stereotactic body radiotherapy treatment of extracranial metastases.
Radiotherapy is an integral treatment for patients with metastatic cancer, although it is usually reserved for palliation of pain, dyspnoea, oedema, bleeding and neurological symptoms. However, the administration of high-precision radiotherapy, termed stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), has the potential to significantly affect the disease course for some patients with metastatic cancer by delivering high doses of radiation to the secondary tumours with limited high-dose delivery to adjacent healthy tissues. Indeed, such accurate delivery has been firmly established as a therapy for medically inoperable early-stage non-small-cell lung cancer. To date, the technique has demonstrated improvements in controlling metastasis and, in some cases, improved palliation compared with conventionally fractionated radiotherapy. Active areas of research in SBRT include patient selection for curative intent, optimization of SBRT planning techniques, dosing schema and integration of SBRT into systemic therapies. Given the improvements in cytotoxic and targeted therapies over the past decade, studies testing the careful integration of SBRT into standard systemic therapy regimens are needed. Further investigations are also needed to understand the basic biological mechanisms underlying SBRT because they are likely to be different to those mechanisms in conventional radiotherapy.
Salama, JK; Kirkpatrick, JP; Yin, F-F
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