A multimodal approach to treatment is a basic oncologic principle with proven survival benefits for most cancer types. However, existing guidelines recommend single modalities for treating each stage of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Nonetheless, multimodal approaches can be considered for HCC, depending on the characteristics of the disease in individual cases. Radiotherapy (RT), an effective local modality, is a critical element of most multimodal approaches. Improved RTtechnology and increased understanding of the tolerance of the liver to radiation have contributed to the popularity of RT for treating liver tumors in clinical practice. Consequently, numerous reports have described the effects of RT on liver cancer, despite a lack of stringent evidence for its benefits. RT can be delivered using various technologies and approaches, which may be the source of some confusion. For example, high-dose ablative RT can be curative on its own, or high-dose ablative or conventional RT can complement other treatments such as radiofrequency ablation and transarterial chemoembolization. Combinations of systemic agents and RT can also be applied. This review discusses the optimal selection of RT as part of a multimodal approach for HCC.
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© 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.
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