The purpose was to evaluate the clinical results of stereotactic radiotherapy in primary liver tumors and hepatic metastases. Five patients with primary liver cancer and 39 patients with 51 hepatic metastases were treated by stereotactic radiotherapy since 1997. Twenty-eight targets were treated in a "low-dose"-group with 3 x 10 Gy (n = 27) or 4 x 7 Gy (n = 1) prescribed to the PTV-encl. 65%-isodose. In a "high-dose"-group patients were treated with 3 x 12 - 12.5 Gy (n = 19; same dose prescription) or 1 x 26 Gy/PTV-enclosing 80%-isodose (n = 9). Median follow-up was 15 months (2-48 months) for primary liver cancer and 15 months (2-85 months) for hepatic metastases. While all primary liver cancers were controlled, nine local failures (3-19 months) of 51 metastases were observed resulting in an actuarial local control rate of 92% after 12 months and 66% after 24 months and later. A borderline significant correlation between dose and local control was observed (p = 0.077): the actuarial local control rate after 12 and 24 months was 86% and 58% in the low-dose-group versus 100% and 82% in the high-dose-group. In multivariate analysis high versus low-dose was the only significant factor predicting local control (p = 0.0089). Overall survival after 1 and 2 years was 72% and 32% for all patients and was impaired due to systemic progression of disease. No severe acute or late toxicity exceeding RTOG/EORTC-score 2 were observed. Stereotactic irradiation of primary liver cancer and hepatic metastases offers a locally effective treatment without significant complications in patients, who are not amenable for surgery. Patient selection is important, because those with low risk for systemic progression are more likely to benefit from this approach.