BC Cancer Foundation BC Cancer Foundation
Rob Olson

A novel radiation treatment for metastatic cancer patients

A study co-led by BC Cancer researchers found that the use of Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy (SABR) technology may improve survival rates for patients with limited metastatic cancer.

The findings are the result of the world’s first randomized clinical trial of SABR as it relates to cancer that has already spread to other parts of the body.

The study, led in B.C. by Dr. Robert Olson, radiation oncologist at BC Cancer – Prince George, along with an international team of researchers, was published in The Lancet.

SABR technology is a highly precise form of radiotherapy where much higher doses of radiation can be safely delivered to tumours over a shorter time period. The technology features advanced machines with built in CT scans that can sculpt the dose of radiation to tumours from multiple angles while reducing the dose to healthy nearby tissue. This both increases cure rates, while reducing the risk of side effects.

With this technology, patients with a small number of additional tumours could be cured of the disease once all growths are killed with radiation. During the randomized trial, the patient group who was treated with SABR technology saw an overall improvement in survival.

BC Cancer Foundation donors have helped fuel work in precision radiation that is changing outcomes for patients in northern B.C. and beyond.