What Is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy?
Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) uses hundreds of tiny, focused beams of radiation. It allows us to give high radiation doses precisely and safely to lower the risk of side effects and speed recovery.
What Happens Before SBRT?
Before SBRT, your treatment team conducts a simulation (practice session). This simulation helps us map out exactly where and how to send radiation during treatment.
During the procedure, you wear a weighted garment that looks like a poncho. This keeps you still while the radiation therapist takes images of your body. It also improves safety by preventing you from accidentally moving during treatment. Without the garment, accidental movements could expose healthy tissue to radiation.
We may use 4D scans to assess how a tumor moves when you move. For example, depending on the tumor location, it may shift slightly when you breathe. Your radiation oncologist uses the 4D images and a specialized software to ensure that radiation doesn’t affect healthy tissue if the tumor moves during treatment.
What Happens During SBRT?
Our specialists perform radiosurgery with a machine called a linear accelerator (LINAC). You lie on the treatment table, and the LINAC moves around your body. It sends focused beams of radiation directly to the tumor. Treatment for each targeted area takes about two minutes and the entire procedure generally lasts about 45 minutes.
Depending on your specific needs, you may have up to five SBRT treatment sessions.
SBRT for prostate cancer
When we use SBRT to treat prostate cancer, we may give you a gel called SpaceOAR Hydrogel™ before you undergo radiation. SpaceOAR is a gel that we place between the prostate and rectum. The gel helps protect the rectum from radiation and minimizes radiation’s effect on:
- Bowel function
- Urinary health
- Sexual function and health
We also place four marker seeds into the prostate. These marker seeds make sure that the radiation targets your prostate accurately and effectively.
Center of Excellence in Radiation Therapy
At Kettering Health, our LINAC is called the Elekta Versa HD™. The Versa HD uses state-of-the-art technology to deliver radiation in under two minutes. With many other technologies, treatment can take up to 90 minutes.
We were the first healthcare system in western Ohio to become an Elekta Center of Excellence. This designation means we use advanced Elekta technology in each of our cancer care locations.
What Do You Use SBRT For?
We may use SBRT to treat a tumor in your
- Head or neck
- Lymph nodes
Our specialists may also use stereotactic radiation therapy (stereotactic radiosurgery) to treat certain brain conditions.