Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT) is a form of external beam radiation therapy (EBRT). Because of the pinpoint accuracy of this technology, SBRT can deliver higher doses of radiation in fewer treatment sessions, with less risk to surrounding healthy tissue. Treatment is delivered in one to five sessions compared to five to eight weeks with standard EBRT treatment. SBRT is particularly effective against small, well-defined tumors in inoperable or surgically risky locations such as the liver or lung.
How It Works
SBRT is a type of radiation therapy that combines extremely accurate image-guided tumor targeting with exact patient positioning. This allows higher doses of radiation to be delivered in fewer treatment sessions. SBRT is used to treat small, well-defined tumors in surgically risky locations such as the liver or lung. If you receive SBRT, you may be positioned in a body immobilizer during treatments to minimize your movement and increase the accuracy of the targeting.
Treatments are delivered under image guidance, allowing the team to see any movements in the tumor and adjust the radiation beams as needed. The treatment machines can even adjust for the motion of your breathing, a technique called respiratory gating. The goal is to deliver an effective dosage that is so precisely targeted that it only affects cancerous cells and leaves the healthy tissue surrounding the tumor untouched.
SBRT treatment begins with sophisticated 3D imaging – a CT, MRI or PET/CT scan – that provides the tumor’s precise location, size and shape. Your treatment team uses the imaging to create a computerized 3D treatment plan that determines dosage level and the positioning of the radiation beams. The team may also create a custom body mold to help you stay perfectly still during treatment.
If you are a candidate for SBRT, you will have just one to five treatment sessions rather than the standard five to eight weeks of traditional EBRT treatment. During each session, a radiation therapist will carefully position you on the treatment table using a body immobilizer that is custom fit for you. Advanced daily imaging will be used to ensure proper tumor positioning. Your technologist will then control the radiation delivery from another room but you will be able to speak with the therapist throughout the session. He or she will also be able to see you through a special window. The machines are very quiet and you will feel no pain during the session.
- Radiation therapy treatment that combines 3D imaging with multiple, highly-focused x-rays beamed at the tumor from different angles
- Treatment machines automatically adjust for the motion of your breathing; making sure the beams precisely target the tumor and leave surrounding, healthy tissue untouched
- Particularly effective for treating small, well-defined tumors in inoperable or surgically risky locations
- Delivered in one to five treatment sessions; compared to typical five to eight weeks of treatment for standard EBRT
Types of Cancer Treated with SBRT
Currently, SBRT is being used at the Cancer Center to treat:
- Lung Cancer
- Spine Cancer
- Liver Cancer
The Cancer Center operates in partnership with Upstate Cancer Center.