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Stereotactic Radiation Therapy

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Uploaded on Mar 31, 2011

Provided by Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Berkeley and Oakland, CA

Stereotactic Radiation Therapy, also referred to as SRT, delivers high doses of radiation to points deep in the body. SRT offers tremendous promise for treating certain forms of cancer quickly, with improved accuracy and improved local control. A higher degree of precision and an increase in dose separates the stereotactic approach from conventional radiation therapy.

Additionally, the number of treatment days for SRT are fewer, and many
potential side effects may be significantly decreased, if not eliminated with SRT. SRT may be the recommended form of treatment for certain tumors of the brain, spine, lung, liver and pancreas.

Specifically for colorectal cancer, SRT is now being used to treat metastases that have spread to the liver and lung. Colorectal cancer is a unique malignancy in that patients can still be cured if the disease has spread in an isolated manner to the lung and/or liver as long as the disease at those sites is eradicated. In the past, this was accomplished by surgical resection of the liver or lung lesions. In recent years, SRT has emerged as a non-invasive alternative to surgical removal that can be given entirely in the outpatient setting. Recent studies suggest that the ability to control the tumor at the treated site is comparable to that seen in surgical series.

If you feel that SRT may be appropriate in your case, the process begins with a consultation with your radiation oncologist. The doctor will review the results of your CT, MRI or PET scan and order any necessary additional studies. These findings will enable your doctor to pinpoint the tumor or affected area, establish treatment objectives and review with you the optimal course of action. Together with your oncology team, you can best determine what course of treatment will be the most effective for you.

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