Stereotactic radiosurgery or SRS is a form of radiotherapy. When it is done on the patient’s body rather than his brain, the procedure is termed stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) or stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT).
Dr. Sayan Paul and his team of cancer specialists in Kolkata perform this procedure using precisely-focused radiation beams and targeting them toward tumours. SBRT can be used for treating tumors in the lungs, liver, neck, spine, or soft tissues.
Since there is no incision, SBRT is not like any typical open surgery. It involves 3D imaging for targeting high doses of radiation to the area that has been affected. This means there is significantly less damage to the healthy tissue. Dr. Paul, considered one of the best lung SBRT specialists in India explains that stereotactic radiosurgery works like other forms of radiation therapy by damaging the DNA of targeted cells. This prevents the affected cells from reproducing, causing the tumours to shrink.
How it Works
Planning starts with immobilization of the body part and specialized imaging to locate the tumour and finding out the area that needs treatment. This involves four-dimensional imaging, which maps the target area as it moves with the breathing cycle of a patient.
.DrSayan Paul who is trained in SBRT from Tata memorial hospital Mumbai works with Medical physicist to develop a plan for radiation therapy that ensures safe exposure. Unlike invasive therapies, the patient does not experience any pain and side effects. Treatments are not necessarily administered on consecutive days, but the entire course of therapy is usually concluded within 10 days.
Why it is done
According to Dr. Sayan Paul, the lung cancer specialist in Kolkata, the SBRT or SABR is currently used in cases where the patients have only a few disease sites to apply an ablative dose of radiation. These include limited disease in the lungs, spine, liver, and recurrent lymph nodes.
What to Expect
Stereotactic body radiotherapy is commonly delivered on an outpatient basis, and each session takes approximately 20-60 minutes. Although it is not common, your radiation oncologist may advise you if a friend or a family member needs to accompany you for the treatment.