Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) is an emerging treatment for pancreas cancer and liver tumors. Early data suggest excellent control rates for locally advanced pancreas cancer. However, due to the close proximity of the duodenum and stomach, steps to effectively minimize toxicities must be taken through image guidance of treatments. SBRT for liver tumors has also shown high rates of local control with low risks for hepatic toxicity. Careful selection of cases for SBRT is essential to achieve disease control and to minimize toxicity for patients. In treatment, attention must be paid to minimizing exposure of nearby normal tissues, including ribs, skin and bowel as well as the functioning organs surrounding the tumors. There is no accepted standard for the SBRT dose/fractionation schedule for these cases and the optimal strategy will likely depend on the size, number and location of lesions for each patient. However, the published data seem to suggest an overall dose-response effect. To realize the clinical potential of SBRT for these tumors, investigations are needed to determine optimum fractionation schedules and to integrate its use with systemic chemotherapy programs.
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