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Stereotactic body radiation therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma: Practice patterns, dose selection and factors impacting survival. Cancer Med 2019 03;8(3):928-938



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Pubmed Central ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85063371663   3 Citations


BACKGROUND: Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is an emerging option for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) without consensus regarding optimal dose schemas. This analysis identifies practice patterns and factors that influence dose selection and overall survival, with particular emphasis on dose and tumor size.

MATERIALS/METHODS: Query of the National Cancer Database (NCDB) identified patients with unresectable, nonmetastatic HCC who received SBRT from 2004 to 2013. Biological Effective Dose (BED) was calculated for each patient in order to uniformly analyze different fractionation regimens.

RESULTS: A total of 456 patients met the inclusion criteria. The median BED was 100 Gy (22.5-208.0), which corresponded to the most common dose fractionation (50 Gy in five fractions). Various factors influenced dose selection including tumor size (P < 0.001), tumor stage (P = 0.002), and facility case volume (<0.001). On multivariate analysis, low BED (<75 Gy, HR 2.537, P < 0.001; 75-100 Gy, HR 1.986, P = 0.007), increasing tumor size (HR 1.067, P = 0.032), elevated AFP (HR 1.585, P = 0.019), stage 3 (HR 1.962, P < 0.001), low-volume facilities (1-5 cases HR 1.687, P = 0.006), and a longer time interval from diagnosis to SBRT (>2 to ≤4 months, HR 1.456, P = 0.048; >4 months, HR 2.192, P < 0.001) were associated with worse survival.

CONCLUSION: SBRT use is increasing for HCC, and multiple regimens are clinically employed. Although high BED was associated with improved outcomes, multiple factors contributed to the dose selection with favorable patients receiving higher doses. Continued efforts to enhance radiation planning and delivery may help improve utilization, safety, and efficacy.

Author List

Robbins JR, Schmid RK, Hammad AY, Gamblin TC, Erickson BA


Beth A. Erickson MD Professor in the Radiation Oncology department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Thomas Clark Gamblin MD Chief, Professor in the Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Aged, 80 and over
Carcinoma, Hepatocellular
Liver Neoplasms
Middle Aged
Practice Patterns, Physicians'
Radiotherapy Dosage
Retrospective Studies
Risk Factors
Survival Rate
Treatment Outcome
jenkins-FCD Prod-482 91ad8a360b6da540234915ea01ff80e38bfdb40a