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Pract Radiat Oncol. 2015 Nov-Dec;5(6):e589-e596. doi: 10.1016/j.prro.2015.05.004. Epub 2015 Jun 30.

Local control rates of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) to the bone using stereotactic body radiation therapy: Is RCC truly radioresistant?

Author information

Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado.
Department of Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, Colorado.
Medical Oncology Department, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán, Mexico City, Mexico.
Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Shared Resource, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, Colorado.
Contributed equally



We report the radiographic and clinical response rate of stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) compared with conventional fractionated external beam radiation therapy (CF-EBRT) for renal cell carcinoma (RCC) bone lesions treated at our institution.


Forty-six consecutive patients were included in the study, with 95 total lesions treated (50 SBRT, 45 CF-EBRT). We included patients who had histologic confirmation of primary RCC and radiographic evidence of metastatic bone lesions. The most common SBRT regimen used was 27 Gy in 3 fractions.


Median follow-up was 10 months (range, 1-64 months). Median time to symptom control between SBRT and CF-EBRT were 2 (range, 0-6 weeks) and 4 weeks (range, 0-7 weeks), respectively. Symptom control rates with SBRT and CF-EBRT were significantly different (P = .020) with control rates at 10, 12, and 24 months of 74.9% versus 44.1%, 74.9% versus 39.9%, and 74.9% versus 35.7%, respectively. The median time to radiographic failure and unadjusted pain progression was 7 months in both groups. When controlling for gross tumor volume, dose per fraction, smoking, and the use of systemic therapy, biologically effective dose ≥80 Gy was significant for clinical response (hazard ratio [HR], 0.204; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.043-0.963; P = .046) and radiographic (HR, 0.075; 95% CI, 0.013-0.430; P = .004). When controlling for gross tumor volume and total dose, biologically effective dose ≥80 Gy was again predictive of clinical local control (HR, 0.140; 95% CI, 0.025-0.787; P = .026). Toxicity rates were low and equivalent in both groups, with no grade 4 or 5 toxicity reported.


SBRT is both safe and effective for treating RCC bone metastases, with rapid improvement in symptoms after treatment and more durable clinical and radiographic response rate. Future prospective trials are needed to further define efficacy and toxicity of treatment, especially in the setting of targeted agents.

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