Stereotactic Radiotherapy (SBRT)

Non-invasive, Low-dose Radiation Therapy for Cancer Treatment

Stereotactic radiotherapy, also known as stereotactic body radiotherapy or SBRT, is one of many different radiation treatments at Loyola Medicine. It treats cancer by using focused radiation beams delivered from outside your body to kill tumors.

SBRT is similar to stereotactic radiosurgery, which was originally developed to treat brain cancer through a single session. However, stereotactic radiotherapy uses a lower dose of radiation over multiple sessions to treat tumors in parts of the body other than the brain. It is commonly used for patients when surgical removal of the tumor is not an option.

At Loyola, we use SBRT to treat many types of cancers and tumors in the body, including:

During this treatment, your radiation oncologist uses a beam of X-rays that is customized to the size and contours of your tumor to kill cancer cells.  We take great care in planning and delivering your treatment to ensure maximum effect on the tumor and minimum effect on nearby healthy tissue. 

What to Expect with Stereotactic Radiotherapy

Before being treated with stereotactic radiotherapy, you will be fitted for a body mold. This ensures that we use the same positioning with each treatment. We will then perform a CT scan to determine the location of your tumor and monitor your breathing so we can see the tumor even as your lungs and diaphragm move. This makes sure that we are directing the radiation at your tumor and avoiding healthy tissue.

Your radiation therapy team will use the results of these tests to create a unique treatment plan to best treat your tumor. SBRT is usually delivered in five or fewer treatments over two or more weeks, and each treatment typically takes 30 to 45 minutes. After the treatment course is complete, you will see your Loyola doctor for follow-up and another CT scan.

Stereotactic Radiotherapy Side Effects

Most patients experience minimal side effects and can drive themselves to their appointments. Talk to your Loyola doctor about the potential side effects of your unique radiation treatment.