Stereotactic Radiation Shows Ability to Significantly Extend Survival in Cancer Patients with Multiple Metastasis

Stereotactic Radiation Shows Ability to Significantly Extend Survival in Cancer Patients with Multiple Metastasis
Patients whose cancer returns at multiple sites after treatment — called oligometastatic cancer — are generally thought incurable, but a recent Phase 2 trial found that a highly precise form of radiation can significantly extend these patients' lives if the spread shows small tumors, without diminishing life quality. The approach was tested in patients with up to five metastatic sites, and doubled the time a patient lived without disease progression. The findings will be presented next week at the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) 2018 Annual Meeting. David Palma, MD, PhD, a researcher at Lawson Health Research Institute – the research institute of London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) and lead institution of the multi-center study – will be presenting the research. "Traditionally, when a patient had a cancer that spread to other parts of their body—such as to their bones or brain—they were considered to be incurable," Palma said in a press release. "But there's a theory—called the oligometastatic theory—that if a patient only has a few spots of cancer returning, those spots could be killed with radiation or surgery to improve their survival." Stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy (SABR), also known as stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), is a kind of precision radiation therapy that uses small, thin beams of radiation directed into the tumor from different angles. The treatment delivers high radiation doses, requiring only one or a few sessions, and because it's precise, healthy tissues nearby are spared. Given the sign
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