Palliative radiotherapy--new approaches

Semin Oncol. 2011 Jun;38(3):443-9. doi: 10.1053/j.seminoncol.2011.03.015.


Most cancer patients will require radiation therapy some time during their disease. Thirty percent to 50% of all radiation treatments are palliative, either to alleviate symptoms or prophylactic to prevent deterioration of quality of life from local progressive disease. Radiotherapy is a locally effective tool. It typically causes no systemic and mostly mild acute side effects. We will provide an overview of principles, decision-making, and new developments in palliative radiation therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Bone Neoplasms / secondary
  • Brain Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Brain Neoplasms / secondary
  • Decision Making
  • Dose Fractionation, Radiation
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Palliative Care / methods*
  • Radiotherapy / adverse effects
  • Radiotherapy / methods
  • Radiotherapy / trends
  • Skin Ulcer / radiotherapy
  • Spinal Cord Compression / radiotherapy
  • Superior Vena Cava Syndrome / radiotherapy