Oligometastases from solid tumors are currently recognized as a distinct clinical entity, corresponding to an intermediate state between local and widespread disease. It has been suggested that local ablative therapies (including surgery, radiofrequency ablation and radiation therapy) play an important role in this setting, in combination or not with systemic therapies, particularly in delaying disease progression and hopefully in increasing the median survival time. Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) rapidly emerged in recent years as one of the most effective and less toxic local treatment modalities for lung, liver, adrenal, brain and bone metastases. The aim of this review was to focus on its clinical role for oligometastatic disease in four major cancer subtypes: lung, breast, colorectal and prostate. On the basis of the available evidence, SBRT is able to provide high rates of local tumor control without significant toxicity. Its global impact on survival is uncertain; however, in specific subpopulations of oligometastatic patients there is a trend towards a significant improvement in progression-free and overall survival rates; these important data might be used as a platform for clinical decision-making and establish the basis for the current and future prospective trials investigating its role with or without systemic treatments.
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