As technology advances, we find new ways to enhance and improve cancer treatment. At Precision Cancer Care we are bringing these new treatments to our patients in Lawrence, Ottawa and Chanute. Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy or (SBRT) is one of the latest types of radiation therapy that offers several advantages over conventional radiation.
Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy
Stereotactic body radiation therapy is a precise, high-dose form of radiation therapy that reduces the number of treatments as well as the duration of time the treatment plan requires. SBRT allows physicians to treat cancer in just one to five treatments, rather than multiple doses over many weeks. Treatment lasting approximately eight weeks or 40 treatment sessions is typically required with conventional radiation.
What Type of Radiation Is Stereotactic?
SBRT is a type of external beam radiation therapy that uses focused radiation beams to target a well-defined tumor. Many small beams of radiation are focused on a target (usually a tumor) and the dose of radiation is delivered to only the site where all the beams intersect. It requires extreme accuracy using detailed imaging, computerized 3D treatment planning and precise set-up to deliver this high dose of radiation to a specific area.
How SBRT Works
SBRT can be used to treat a variety of cancers including prostate, liver, lung, abdomen, lymph nodes, and spine. These sophisticated radiation therapy treatments are administered in 3-5 sessions of very high dose, delivered to isolated tumors. The high dose of radiation delivered to the affected area causes tumors to shrink and blood vessels to close off, robbing the tumor of its blood supply. These treatments are very focused because they result in the death of all cells within the targeted area.
SBRT Offers Faster & More Effective Cancer Treatment
SBRT has been shown to deliver dramatically better outcomes than conventional radiation therapy. For example, local control of stage 1 lung tumors treated with conventional treatment ranges from 40 to 50 percent, however the success rate for SBRT increases to 85 percent. This is comparable to success rates for surgery to remove the tumor, but SBRT has fewer risks.
Advantages of Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT)
SBRT offers three main advantages. The first is that it can deliver a higher dose of radiation to the affected area. Because of the accuracy of the radiation, this higher dose than usual can be delivered without damaging nearby healthy tissue. This minimizes side effects and allows the treatments to be fewer and more effective. Secondly, since stereotactic radiation therapy doesn’t involve any incisions, it’s generally less risky than traditional surgery where you may have complications with anesthesia, bleeding, and/or infection. Finally, it offers fewer treatments in a shorter window of time making it much more convenient for the patient.
Obviously, getting five treatments versus 40 treatments is faster and much more convenient for our patients. Candidates for stereotactic radiation therapy include those patients whose disease is not surgically accessible or is too advanced for neurosurgery, as well as those who cannot tolerate anesthesia. While not everyone is a candidate for SBRT, if you are, Precision Cancer Care has you covered. People often travel to Kansas City because they are unaware that this extremely convenient therapy is available in Lawrence.