What Is Stereotactic Radiotherapy?

Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR), also known as stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), is highly focused radiation treatment that gives an intense dose of radiation concentrated on a tumor, while limiting the dose to the surrounding organs. It has become a treatment of choice for many patients with limited volume tumors but for whom surgery may not be an optimal treatment. Stanford has experience treating tumors throughout the body, with extracranial sites that include head and neck, thorax, abdomen (liver, pancreas, adrenal), pelvis and bone.

What are its advantages?

High effectiveness and accuracy. For most indications, local tumor control rates of 90% can be achieved. SABR uses the latest image guidance technologies to ablate tumors with millimeter-scale accuracy. The ability to spare healthy tissue while intensifying the radiation dose is the primary advantage of SABR over other modalities, particularly when critical structures are located near the treatment area.

Non-invasive. SABR is non-invasive and comfortable for the patient.

Convenient, outpatient service. The vast majority of treatments are done as short outpatient visits of 30 minutes to an hour, requiring no hospitalization. Treatment courses are generally completed in 1-5 days, allowing more freedom for your patients' busy lives, even if they are travelling from a distance, and resulting in little or no interruption of their scheduled chemotherapy or other cancer treatments.

Why Stanford?

Unparalleled experience. The first medical linear accelerator in the Western Hemisphere was developed at Stanford and the first patient was treated in 1956. The first CyberKnife was developed at Stanford and the first patient was treated in 1994. We are now one of the only centers with two state-of-the-art CyberKnife systems, and in September, 2010, we treated our 5000th patient. In September, 2010, Stanford also became the first center on the west coast to treat patients with the new TrueBeam STx system, and the first in the world to deliver SABR using RapidArc and respiratory-gated RapidArc technologies on that system, offering unprecedented focusing of dose and treatment speed.

Multiple SABR treatment platforms. Currently, we are the only center in the world that uses CyberKnife (with Synchrony tracking), Trilogy (with RapidArc and respiratory gating), and TrueBeam STx SABR systems to treat our patients. Having all of these various technologies in one center, combined with our advanced treatment planning imaging capabilities including dedicated 4-D CT and PET-CT, allows us the flexibility to individualize and select the most appropriate therapy for each patient.

Expertise and innovation. Even more important than our cutting-edge technology, Stanford's doctors and treatment team have been pioneering SABR almost since its inception over a decade ago, and continue to drive innovation in this field technologically and clinically. Some of the first prospective clinical trials of SABR for lung tumors and liver tumors were completed at Stanford, and the first prospective clinical trial of SABR for pancreas tumors in the world was conducted at Stanford by our expert doctors and treatment team. We have helped develop clinical guidelines and provide education and training to doctors around the world.