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Semin Surg Oncol. 2003;21(4):249-55.

Conformal chemoradiation for primary and metastatic liver malignancies.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Princess Margaret Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.


Historically, radiation therapy has played a minor role in the management of patients with unresectable primary hepatobiliary malignancies and liver metastases from colorectal cancer. This can be attributed chiefly to the low tolerance of the whole liver to radiation. Three-dimensional radiation planning techniques have allowed much higher doses of radiation to be delivered to focal liver tumors, while sparing the majority of the normal liver. When combined with fluorodeoxyuridine (FUdR), high-dose focal liver radiation is associated with excellent response rates, local control, and survival in patients with large unresectable tumors. There appears to be a radiation dose response for intrahepatic malignancies. Advancements in tumor imaging, radiation techniques that can safely deliver higher doses of radiation, novel tumor radiation sensitizers, and normal-tissue radioprotectors should substantially improve the outcome of patients with unresectable intrahepatic malignancies treated with chemoradiation.

Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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