Stereotactic body radiotherapy

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d4286 (Published 03 August 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4286
  1. Eric Lartigau, chairman
  1. 1Academic Radiation Oncology Department, Centre Oscar Lambret, 59000, Lille, France
  1. e-lartigau{at}o-lambret.fr

Early results show promise, but training and long term research are needed before wider implementation

Within the framework of the UK National Cancer Action team, the “national radiotherapy implementation group” has recently published a review of the evidence on stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) and guidelines for commissioners, providers, and clinicians in England.1

SBRT is a form of external beam radiotherapy that is based on a precise evaluation of the positioning of the tumour target in real time (stereotactic: <1 mm) and on the delivery of the dose by multiple beams (often >100 beams per fraction of treatment). It is used for selected extracranial lesions (such as those of the lung, liver, and prostate) and its precision allows high doses to be delivered in a limited number of fractions (hypofractionation: 1-10 fractions) compared with conventional radiotherapy (20-40 fractions). SBRT has been shown to be of clinical value in stage 1 lung carcinoma and in spinal tumours.2 3

The use of SBRT is rapidly growing in most academic radiotherapy departments in Europe,4 and North American and European guidelines have been published.5 6 The English guidelines comprise nine recommendations (box).

Recommendations from the English guidelines on stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT)

SBRT should be:

  • Made …

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