Stereotactic Radiotherapy/Stereotactic Radiosurgery
What is stereotactic radiotherapy/stereotactic radiosurgery?
Stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT) & stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) means that radiation treatment may be delivered very precisely to extremely small target areas. SRT/SRS enables higher doses to be delivered to precisely targeted areas and ensures the dose to the normal surrounding tissue or any nearby organs at risk is minimal. This is achieved by the dose reducing dramatically outside of the target area.
Patients are discussed in a Stereotactic Multidisciplinary Meeting with Neuroradiologists, Neurosurgeons, the Neuro-oncologist, treatment planners, physicists & the Stereotactic Radiographer. These meetings enable the team to decide whether this type of treatment is the most suitable treatment option for the patient. The team will consider the location of the target to be treated and whether treatment is feasible, considering the location of other sensitive organs, for example, the optic chiasm. The team will also consider the patient’s overall health, any other treatment they have had and whether alternative treatment options like surgery or whole brain radiotherapy would be more suitable.
Patients for which this is the best treatment option may have one treatment, stereotactic radiosurgery or a maximum of five treatments, stereotactic radiotherapy. The number of treatments will mainly be determined by the size and position of the target.
What should I expect from the treatment?
You will receive a letter or phone call confirming the date of your initial appointment. A mask will be made during the CT planning scan appointment, which will take approximately 2 hours in total. This scan will be used in preparation for your treatment. When your individual plan is ready you will contacted with a treatment date.
On the day of your first treatment you will meet with a radiographer who will explain the treatment procedure and give you a list of all your appointments (if you are having more than one treatment) prior to having your treatment. For the treatment, your mask securely positions the front and back of the head to ensure minimal movement during treatment. The mask is secured to a headboard attachment on a robotic couch. This couch can move up and down, in and out, left to right and can tilt to ensure the position of the head is accurately replicated. X-ray images are taken throughout the treatment session to ensure accuracy and this is also verified with an integral infrared system. The treatment will take approximately 30-60 minutes to complete. Most of this time is taken up with the radiographers setting up your position in the mask and taking images to ensure you are in the correct position. You will be aware of the couch tilting and the machine moving around you.
If you are having a single treatment we recommend that you do not drive on the day of your treatment and you must arrange to have someone stay with you overnight.