"Stereotactic" in Greek means "movement in space" and refers here to the way your radiation oncologist locates the tumor or target of a radiation dose by means of a 3-D coordinate system. A stereotactic method of surgery was first developed for brain surgery, but now advanced technology enables the use of similar techniques for lung, liver and spine tumors. SBRT differs from conventional radiotherapy because it kills the tumor in a few potent doses while delivering little radiation to the surrounding healthy tissue.
How SBRT Works
Before stereotactic body radiation therapy begins, high-resolution 3-D images of the treatment area are taken to locate the tumor, its exact size and shape. These images guide radiation oncologists to plan your treatment for the target area. During treatment, very precise fine arcs of radiation are administered from many different angles and planes, concentrating a large dose of radiation to the targeted area to destroy the tumor.
What to Expect
Stereotactic body radiation therapy generally takes a few sessions. Most patients feel no pain during the treatment and are able to go home immediately afterward.
Benefits of SBRT
Stereotactic body radiation therapy precisely targets the tumor to receive a maximum amount of radiation while sparing nearby normal tissue from radiation exposure. SBRT is a non-invasive treatment that does not require surgery and reduces the risks of complications sometimes associated with conventional surgery.