The majority of patients who present with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are already at an advanced stage, and the tumors are unresectable. Radiotherapy (RT) technology can safely provide focused high-dose irradiation to these patients. A wide spectrum of RT technologiesis currently available, including internal RT consisting of Yttrium-90 ( 90Y), Iodine-131 ( 131I) anti-ferritin antibody and Homium-199 ( 199Ho) and external RT, such as three-dimensional conformal RT, intensity-modulated RT, helical tomotherapy, stereotactic body RT, and image-guided RT. However, it may be diffi cult for physicians to understand all of the available options and to select the optimal RT treatment. Physicians frequently query radiation oncologists on the practical indications of RT for managing patients with HCC. According to the Korean Liver Cancer Study Group practice guidelines, RT is considered appropriate for unresectable, locally advanced HCC without extrahepatic metastasis, a Child-Pugh class A or B, and tumors that occupy less than two-thirds of the liver with level II evidence. In this review, we discuss the application of various RT modalities based on disease status and the detailed indications for RT according to the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer staging system.
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