Open Access Open Badges Research article

Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy (SABR) in inoperable oligometastatic disease from colorectal cancer: a safe and effective approach

Tiziana Comito1*, Luca Cozzi2, Elena Clerici1, Maria Concetta Campisi1, Rocco Luca Emanuele Liardo1, Pierina Navarria1, AnnaMaria Ascolese1, Angelo Tozzi1, Cristina Iftode1, Fiorenza De Rose1, Elisa Villa1, Nicola Personeni3, Lorenza Rimassa3, Armando Santoro3, Antonella Fogliata2, Pietro Mancosu1, Stefano Tomatis1 and Marta Scorsetti1

Author Affiliations

1 Radiotherapy and Radiosurgery Department, Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, Rozzano, MI, Italy

2 Medical Physics Unit, Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland, Bellinzona, Switzerland

3 Medical oncology and hematology unit, Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, Rozzano, MI, Italy

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Cancer 2014, 14:619  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-619

Published: 27 August 2014



To assess the safety and efficacy of Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy (SABR) in oligometastatic patients from colorectal cancer.


82 patients with 1–3 inoperable metastases confined to one organ (liver or lung), were treated with SABR for a total of 112 lesions in an observational study. Prescription dose ranged between 48 and 75Gy in 3 or 4 consecutive fractions. Primary end-points were local control (LC), overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS). Secondary end-point was toxicity.


Median follow-up was 24 months (range 3–47). One, two and three years LC rate was 90%,80% and 75% (85%,75% and 70% for lung and 95%, 90% and 85% for liver metastases; no statistically significance was found). The difference in LC between the subgroup of lesions treated with ≥60 Gy (n = 58) and those irradiated with <60 Gy (n = 52) was statistically significant, with a 1, 2 and 3 yrs LC of 97%,92% and 83% for the higher dose, compared to 85%,70% and 70% for the lower dose (p < 0.04). Median OS was 32 months. Actuarial OS rate at 1, 2 and 3 yrs was 85%,65% and 43%. Univariate analysis showed a correlation only between OS and cumulative GTV > 3 cm (p < 0.02). Median PFS was 14 months, with a PFS rate of 56% at 1 yr and 40% at 2-3 yrs, without correlation with the site and prescription dose (p < 0.48 and p < 0.56). No patients experienced radiation-induced liver disease or grade >3 toxicity.


SABR is a safe and feasible alternative treatment of oligometastatic colorectal liver and lung metastases in patients not amenable to surgery or other ablative treatments.

Liver; Lung; Colorectal oligometastases; RapidArc; Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy