alexa Palliative – Stereotactic Radiosurgery

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Palliative – Stereotactic Radiosurgery
Radiation therapy remains an indispensable tool in palliative care. However, in the past, in order to achieve the results needed, palliative radiation therapy took weeks, a span of time which was often too long for terminal patients to bear. Advances in medical imaging and radiation therapy hardware and software have made possible to deliver high doses of focal radiation using shortened fractionation schemes. These may range from 1 to 5 fractions, targeting only the tumor area with optimized protection of normal tissue, which results in minimal toxicity, less physical demands to the patient and most importantly, more prompt palliative response. A novel radiation therapy technique, called “Stereotactic Radiosurgery” (SRS) or “Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy” (SBRT), originally developed and used as primary modality of treatment for many cancers with curative intent, is becoming an invaluable tool in the palliative care of patients with terminal cancer. In this article, we describe a typical case where SRS/SBRT demonstrates its value and efficacy and discuss present and future applications of this innovative technique in the palliative care of patients with terminal cancers
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