Oligometastases refer to metastases that are limited in number and location and are amenable to regional treatment. The majority of these metastases appear in the brain, lung, liver, and bone. Although the focus of interest in the past within radiation oncology has been on the treatment of intracranial metastases, there has been growing interest in extracranial sites such as the liver and lung. This is largely because of the rapid development of targeting techniques for oligometastases such as intensity-modulated and image-guided radiation therapy, which has made it possible to deliver single or a few fractions of high-dose radiation treatments, highly conformal to the target. The clinical decision to use radiation to treat oligometastases is based on both radiobiological and physics considerations. The radiobiological considerations involve improvement of treatment schema for time, dose, and volume. Areas of interests are hypofractionation, tumor and normal tissue tolerance, and hypoxia. The physics considerations for oligometastases treatment are focused mainly on ensuring treatment accuracy and precision. This article discusses the physics and imaging aspects involved in each step of the radiation treatment process for oligometastases, including target definition, treatment simulation, treatment planning, pretreatment target localization, radiation delivery, treatment verification, and treatment evaluation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cancer Research