Radiotherapy for liver metastases: a review of evidence

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2012 Mar 1;82(3):1047-57. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2011.07.020.


Over the past decade, there has been an increasing use of radiotherapy (RT) for the treatment of liver metastases. Most often, ablative doses are delivered to focal liver metastases with the goal of local control and ultimately improving survival. In contrast, low-dose whole-liver RT may be used for the palliation of symptomatic diffuse metastases. This review examines the available clinical data for both approaches. The review found that RT is effective both for local ablation of focal liver metastases and for palliation of patients with symptomatic liver metastases. However, there is a lack of a high level of evidence from randomized clinical trials.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brachytherapy / methods
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / mortality
  • Liver Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary
  • Liver Neoplasms / surgery
  • Palliative Care / methods
  • Radiosurgery / methods
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Radiotherapy, Conformal / methods