Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) is the precise external delivery of very high-dose radiotherapy to targets in the body, with treatment completed in one to five fractions.
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SBRT should be an ideal approach for organ-confined prostate cancer because (I) dose-escalation should yield improved rates of cancer control; (II) the unique radiobiology of prostate cancer favors hypofractionation; and (III) the conformal nature of SBRT minimizes high-dose radiation delivery to immediately adjacent organs, potentially reducing complications. This approach is also more convenient for patients, and is cheaper than intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT). Several external beam platforms are capable of delivering SBRT for early-stage prostate cancer, although most of the mature reported series have employed a robotic non-coplanar platform (i.e., CyberKnife). Several large studies report 5-year biochemical relapse rates which compare favorably to IMRT. Rates of late GU toxicity are similar to those seen with IMRT, and rates of late rectal toxicity may be less than with IMRT and low-dose rate brachytherapy. Patient-reported quality of life (QOL) outcomes appear similar to IMRT in the urinary domain. Bowel QOL may be less adversely affected by SBRT than with other radiation modalities. After 5 years of follow-up, SBRT delivered on a robotic platform is yielding outcomes at least as favorable as IMRT, and may be considered appropriate therapy for stage I-II prostate cancer.
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Swedish Radiosurgery Center, Seattle, WA, USA.
Reference: Front Oncol. 2015 Apr 7;5:48.