A prospective trial of short-fractionation radiotherapy for the palliation of liver metastases

Sean Bydder*, N. A. Spry, D. R H Christie, D. Roos, B. H. Burmeister, H. Krawitz, S. Davis, D. J. Joseph, M. Poulsen, M. Berry

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    31 Citations (Scopus)


    The purpose of this study was to prospectively examine the effectiveness and tolerability of a simple radiotherapy technique for the palliation of symptomatic liver metastases. Twenty-eight patients with symptomatic liver metastases were enrolled from seven centres, and received targeted (partial or whole) liver irradiation consisting of 10 Gy in two fractions over 2 days. Symptoms at baseline were hepatic pain (27 patients), abdominal distension (19), night sweats (12), nausea (18) and vomiting (eight). Twenty-two patients (76%) had failed previous treatment with chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and/or high-dose steroids. Symptoms and potential toxicities were prospectively assessed at the time of treatment, then 2, 6 and 10 weeks later. Individual symptom response rates were 53-66% at 2 weeks. Partial or complete global symptomatic responses were noted in 15 patients (54%) overall. The treatment was well tolerated with two patients (7%) experiencing grade 3 toxicity (one vomiting and one diarrhoea); however, four patients reported temporary worsening of pain shortly after treatment. This simple and well-tolerated treatment achieves useful palliation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)284-288
    Number of pages5
    JournalAustralasian Radiology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2003


    • Hepatic metastases
    • Hepatic radiotherapy
    • Liver radiotherapy
    • Palliation

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