Stereotactic-Body Radiation Therapy

Stereotactic body radiation therapy, also called SBRT, is a type of external beam radiation. In SBRT, a machine sends a focused radiation beam to a small area of the body. 

At the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, we use the Novalis Tx™ system for SBRT. The Novalis Tx is the most up-to-date technology available, and OHSU has the only Novalis Tx system in the region. Treatment with Novalis Tx is extremely precise and can be more comfortable than other types of radiation therapy.

Learn more about Novalis Tx

Stereotactic body radiation therapy is similar to the radiation treatment called stereotactic radiosurgery. The difference is that doctors use stereotactic radiosurgery to treat brain tumors and other head or neck conditions. Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is used to treat other areas of the body.

In SBRT, the precisely focused beam sends as much radiation as possible to the tumor. Because SBRT is so precise, it focuses only on tumor tissue, helping protect the healthy cells nearby. Sending more radiation to the tumor at each session can also mean you need fewer treatments.

SBRT uses advanced imaging techniques, such as MRI and CT scans, to show your healthcare team exactly where the tumor is located. Because treatment, body movements and changes in the size or position of body organs can affect the tumor, the images also show its size, shape and any changes since the last treatment. During radiation therapy, the imaging system keeps the radiation beam focused on the tumor, avoiding healthy tissue. 

If you have lung cancer but cannot have surgery, stereotactic body radiation therapy might be right for you. At the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, the results of SBRT for lung cancer treatment have been excellent. Some liver and spine cancers can also be treated with SBRT.

Most SBRT treatment sessions take a few minutes to an hour, although you might spend longer at the radiation therapy center. Your radiation oncologist and OHSU Knight Cancer Institute team will work with you to create the best treatment plan.


Conditions Treated Using Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT)