The feasibility, toxicity and tumor response of stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for treatment of primary and metastastic liver tumors was investigated. From October 2002 until June 2006, 25 patients not suitable for other local treatments were entered in the study. In total 45 lesions were treated, 34 metastases and 11 hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Median follow-up was 12.9 months (range 0.5-31). Median lesion size was 3.2 cm (range 0.5-7.2) and median volume 22.2 cm3 (range 1.1-322). Patients with metastases, HCC without cirrhosis, and HCC < 4 cm with cirrhosis were mostly treated with 3 x 12.5 Gy. Patients with HCC > or =4 cm and cirrhosis received 5 x 5 Gy or 3 x 10 Gy. The prescription isodose was 65%. Acute toxicity was scored following the Common Toxicity Criteria and late toxicity with the SOMA/LENT classification. Local failures were observed in two HCC and two metastases. Local control rates at 1 and 2 years for the whole group were 94% and 82%. Acute toxicity grade > or =3 was seen in four patients; one HCC patient with Child B developed a liver failure together with an infection and died (grade 5), two metastases patients presented elevation of gamma glutamyl transferase (grade 3) and another asthenia (grade 3). Late toxicity was observed in one metastases patient who developed a portal hypertension syndrome with melena (grade 3). SBRT was feasible, with acceptable toxicity and encouraging local control. Optimal dose-fractionation schemes for HCC with cirrhosis have to be found. Extreme caution should be used for patients with Child B because of a high toxicity risk.