Promise of novel radiation treatment for metastatic cancer patients

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 61 , No. 5 , June 2019 , Pages 221-222 News

A study co-led by BC Cancer researchers has 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. SABR technology is a highly precise form of radiotherapy where much higher doses of radiation can be safely delivered to tumors over a shorter time period. The technology features advanced machines with built-in CT scans that can sculpt the dose of radiation to tumors from multiple angles while reducing the dose to healthy nearby tissue.

Until now, there was not much evidence to support the claim that patients with a small number of additional tumors could be cured of the disease once all growths are killed with radiation. The SABR-COMET trial aimed to assess the effect of SABR on survival, outcomes, toxicity, and quality of life in patients with a controlled primary tumor and one to five additional tumors.

During the randomized trial, which took place over 4 years at 10 centres worldwide (including all six BC Cancer centres), the patient group who was treated with SABR technology saw an overall improvement in survival. However, there is a possibility of serious side effects, so future research is needed to confirm its efficacy.

Phase III trials are needed to conclusively show an overall survival benefit and to determine the number of metastatic tumors that could benefit from SABR treatment.

The study was led at BC Cancer by Dr Robert Olson, radiation oncologist, along with an international team of researchers. The results will open the door for patients in the upcoming trial, titled SABR-COMET-3, a Phase III randomized controlled trial for patients across the province with one to three metastatic tumors; that trial is being led by Dr Olson from BC Cancer, Prince George.

The article, “Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy versus standard of care palliative treatment in patients with oligometastatic cancers (SABR-COMET): A randomised, phase 2, open-label trial,” was published in The Lancet. It is available at www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2818%2932487-5/fulltext.

. Promise of novel radiation treatment for metastatic cancer patients. BCMJ, Vol. 61, No. 5, June, 2019, Page(s) 221-222 - News.



Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.

BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:

  • Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
  • There is no period after the journal name.
  • Page numbers are not abbreviated.


For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org

BCMJ Guidelines for Authors

Leave a Reply