Stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT) is a specialised type of radiotherapy that can be used to treat different parts of the body. This information is about how it’s used to treat brain tumours. It describes what SRT is, how and when it’s given, how it works, and some of the possible side effects. It should ideally be read with our general information about radiotherapy.
This treatment is currently not widely available in the UK. You may be referred to a specialist hospital if your doctor thinks it’s a suitable treatment for you.
Radiotherapy uses invisible, high-energy rays to treat cancer. It works by destroying cancer cells in the area being treated. Although normal cells can also be damaged by radiotherapy, they can usually repair themselves.
SRT uses scans and specialist equipment to aim radiotherapy very precisely and accurately at certain types of brain tumours. It’s only suitable for some people. SRT is usually given over a shorter period of time than standard radiotherapy.
SRT is known by a number of different names and this can be confusing. These include:
- stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS)
- stereotactic brain radiosurgery
- stereotactic radiation therapy (SRT)
- Gamma Knife™ (a machine used to administer SRT)
- CyberKnife™ (a machine used to administer SRT).
We use the term stereotactic radiotherapy, or SRT for short.