Curative stereotactic body radiotherapy for liver malignancy

Med Oncol. 2009;26(3):327-34. doi: 10.1007/s12032-008-9125-4. Epub 2008 Nov 14.


Nine patients with 11 primary or secondary liver non-neuroendocrine malignancies with mean and maximum diameters of 4.0 and 7.7 cm became long-term survivors after precision irradiation in a stereotactic body frame. Doses varied from 20 to 45 Gy split at 2-4 occasions a few days apart, with higher doses in the target centers. Occasional chemotherapy was stopped well before irradiation. No hospitalizations were needed because side effects, regional pain and nausea, were mild. All patients have now survived 5-14 years without recurrences. Two verified and one suspected secondary cancers occurred in organs close to the irradiated targets, and two of them could be resected for cure. Precision irradiation can thus cure selected liver malignancies. It is the first non-invasive method to achieve this, and the present patients are its first long-term survivors. A prolonged follow-up period is, however, necessary, because we have in other patients seen local tumor regrowth as late as four years after irradiation. The approach may cure some tumors, which are technically unsuited for other treatment modalities, and can be used for patients at high surgical risk. The success rate for local control seems good, but has to be defined by formal studies after optimization of radiation doses.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary
  • Liver Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Radiosurgery / adverse effects
  • Radiosurgery / methods*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor