In the medically inoperable patients with solitary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), local therapies, such as radiofrequency ablation and transarterial chemoembolization, are used as alternatives. However, several factors, including anatomic and vascular variants, make procedures more challenging. Radiotherapy has historically been used as a palliative option for unresectable HCC. However, recent advances in modern radiotherapy, such as stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), have dramatically increased the use of radiotherapy as a curative modality, particularly in cases ineligible for local ablation therapy or surgical resection. SBRT is a modern approach for delivering ablative high doses of irradiation in small volumes. SBRT in liver tumors, including HCC, provided local control with potential survival benefits in patients with inoperable status. However, the following issues remain to be addressed: the difference between primary and metastatic liver cancers; SBRT-related toxicity and prevention; pathological features of liver cancers; and potential SBRT strategies, including radiobiology-based SBRT and SBRT combined with immunotherapy. We summarized the effectiveness of SBRT and patient tolerance of the therapy. In addition, we present the current status and future perspective of SBRT as a treatment option for HCC.
Part of the book: Management of Chronic Liver Diseases