Stereotactic body radiation therapy (known as SBRT) is a very precise form of radiation therapy is a non-surgical approach that delivers high doses of radiation therapy in an incredibly targeted manner, in much higher doses.
What is stereotactic body radiation therapy?
With SBRT, the physician uses 3-dimensional imaging (an MRI, CT or PET/CT) of the tumor to define the exact shape and size of the tumor. This guides the treatment planning and allows for the radiation therapy to be designed so the beams target the tumor very precisely.
What can I expect with SBRT?
What are the benefits of SBRT?
SBRT is a non-invasive alternative to surgery, ideal for patients who do not want surgery, or are not able to handle a surgical procedure. It's also good for tumors that are in difficult places to reach, tumors located close to vital organs, or tumors that are in a location that is subject to movement during treatment.
For patients with health issues, SBRT may be the most appropriate treatment. This was the case for Susan Malinowski, who was diagnosed with lung cancer. Because of other issues (Susan had multiple health problems, including the aftereffects of a stroke from a brain aneurysm, and a crumbling spine that required surgery to insert hardware to prop it up), Susan chose SBRT, with good results. Read more about Susan's story .
Beaumont research has also shown that SBRT for early-stage, non-small cell lung cancer is better at controlling the disease and saving patients' lives, compared with standard external-beam radiation therapy. "Not only that, standard radiation was more than 25 percent more expensive than SBRT," says study author Tom Lanni, administrative director of Oncology Services.