Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT)
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Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), or sometimes called stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR), is a noninvasive therapy for cancer and noncancerous tumors anywhere in the body below the neck. It combines IMRT with image guidance to deliver a large dose of radiation to a small target in three to five sessions.
Because the beam shapes itself to the exact pattern of the tumor, it delivers very precise radiation, minimizing harm to surrounding tissues. SBRT is ideal for treating certain tumors within the lung or liver. Your SBRT therapy may include three to five treatments over one to two weeks.
Radiation oncology specialists at University of Maryland have successfully used SBRT since 1992. GammaPod, a form of SBRT that treats breast cancer, was invented at the UM Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMGCCC) in Baltimore.
How We Use SBRT for Cancer Treatment
We use SBRT to treat small or medium-sized cancerous tumors and other cancers including:
- Liver and gallbladder cancer
- Lung cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Stomach and abdominal cancer
- Cancers that has spread from one area of the body to another
In certain cancers, SBRT has been shown to be as effective as other cancer treatments like surgery. SBRT may also be an option for patients who can’t have surgery because of high-risk medical conditions.
The treatment is also an important alternative for patients whose cancers or abnormalities are:
- Difficult to reach surgically
- Close to vital organs or body areas
- Likely to move within the body
Before you have SBRT, you may have imaging tests to determine the exact location of the tumor or abnormality. These may include MRI, CT or PET/CT scans. This is important for tumors on the lungs or liver that can move while you breathe.
We may also use X-ray imaging or CT scans during SBRT to monitor any tumor movement.