Vol. 1 No. 3 (2021)
Health Technology Reviews

Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy for the Treatment of Oligometastatic Cancer: A Clinical Review as Part of a Health Technology Assessment

Published March 31, 2021

Key Messages

Oligometastatic cancer (cancer with a limited number of metastases) represents an intermediate state between cancer confined to a single location in the body and cancer that has metastasized — or spread — widely.

One treatment option, for which there is growing interest, is stereotactic ablative radiotherapy, also known as SABR.

  • SABR precisely delivers a high dose of radiation to ablate tumours at specific sites while minimizing the radiation dose to surrounding normal tissues.
  • SABR may be used independently or alongside other treatment options in the management of oligometastatic cancer.

This CADTH clinical review evaluated the evidence regarding the clinical effectiveness and safety of SABR with or without standard of care (SOC) for people with oligometastatic cancer and found the following:

  • SABR in addition to SOC may offer a benefit in terms of overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS).
  • The findings for the effectiveness of SABR alone compared with SOC were mixed and deemed inconclusive.
  • There are insufficient data related to adverse events (AEs) at the present time to draw conclusions regarding the safety of SABR relative to SOC alternatives.

Note that this is the baseline report of a living systematic review that is being updated every 3 months to ensure the findings remain up to date as new evidence emerges. Please refer to the CADTH project page for the latest version of the report and for the version history.