The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) for primary and metastatic liver tumors using the Novalis image-guided radiotherapy system. After preliminarily treating liver tumors using the Novalis system from July 2006, we started a protocol-based study in February 2008. Eighteen patients (6 with primary hepatocellular carcinoma and 12 with metastatic liver tumor) were treated with 55 or 50 Gy, depending upon their planned dose distribution and liver function, delivered in 10 fractions over 2 weeks. Four non-coplanar and three coplanar static beams were used. Patient age ranged from 54 to 84 years (median: 72 years). The Child-Pugh classification was Grade A in 17 patients and Grade B in 1. Tumor diameter ranged from 12 to 35 mm (median: 23 mm). Toxicities were evaluated according to the Common Terminology Criteria of Adverse Events version 4.0, and radiation-induced liver disease (RILD) was defined by Lawrence's criterion. The median follow-up period was 14.5 months. For all patients, the 1-year overall survival and local control rates were 94% and 86%, respectively. A Grade 1 liver enzyme change was observed in 5 patients, but no RILD or chronic liver dysfunction was observed. SBRT using the Novalis image-guided system is safe and effective for treating primary and metastatic liver tumors. Further investigation of SBRT for liver tumors is warranted. In view of the acceptable toxicity observed with this protocol, we have moved to a new protocol to shorten the overall treatment time and escalate the dose.
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