Emerging technologies in stereotactic body radiotherapy

Chin Clin Oncol. 2017 Sep;6(Suppl 2):S12. doi: 10.21037/cco.2017.06.19.


Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) stems from the initial developments of intra-cranial stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). Despite similarity in their names and clinical goals of delivering a sufficiently high tumoricidal dose, maximal sparing of the surrounding normal tissues and a short treatment course, SBRT technologies have transformed from the early days of body frame-based treatments with X-ray verification to primarily image-guided procedures with cone-beam CT or stereoscopic X-ray systems and non-rigid body immo-bilization. As a result of the incorporation of image-guidance systems and multi-leaf col-limators into mainstream linac systems, and treatment planning systems that have also evolved to allow for routine dose calculations to permit intensity modulated radiotherapy and volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT), SBRT has disseminated rapidly in the community to manage many disease sites that include oligometastases, spine lesions, lung, prostate, liver, renal cell, pelvic tumors, and head and neck tumors etc. In this article, we review the physical principles and paradigms that led to the widespread adoption of SBRT practice as well as technical caveats specific to individual SBRT technologies. From the perspective of treatment delivery, we categorically described (I) C-arm linac-based SBRT technologies; (II) robotically manipulated X-band CyberKnife® technology; and (III) emerging specialized systems for SBRT that include integrated MRI-linear accelerators and the imaged-guided Gamma Knife Perfexion Icon system with expanded multi-isocenter treatments of skull-based tumors, head-and-neck and cervical-spine lesions.

Keywords: Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT); flattening filter free; hypofractionation; robotic; small field.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cone-Beam Computed Tomography
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Radiosurgery / methods
  • Radiosurgery / trends*
  • Radiotherapy
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted
  • Radiotherapy, Conformal
  • Radiotherapy, Image-Guided / methods
  • Radiotherapy, Image-Guided / trends
  • Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated / methods