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Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy

Stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy, or SABR (pronounced sabre), is a specialised treatment technique introduced at Ipswich Hospital in 2012.  In this treatment technique, we deliver a large dose of radiation over a small number of days.

What are the clinical advantage of SABR?
In a SABR treatment the dose delivered to the tumour per day is much larger than in a conventional treatment.  This allows us to complete the treatment over a shorter length of time. Some small lung and liver tumours may respond better to this technique. However, this will depend on many factors including the type of tumour and its exact location in the body.

All patient treatments are individually planned and the most suitable technique will always be selected.

How are SABR treatments delivered?
SABR treatments are typically delivered by rotating the treatment machine around the patient as the tumour is being irradiated. (See Volume Modulated Arc Therapy for more information).

We may also use a special treatment mode that allows our machines to deliver dose at a much faster rate. This enables us to minimise the time the patient spends on the bed.

When we plan a SABR treatment we use information about how the patient breathes.  This allows us to take into account any motion of the tumour during respiration. (See Respiratory Gating for more information).

Before each day of treatment we will image the patient using cone beam CT to ensure that the radiation is hitting the tumour at exactly the right spot.  An example of a cone beam CT image of the lung is shown above.   (See Image Guided Radiotherapy for more information).