Should organs at risk (OARs) be prioritized over target volume coverage in stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) for oligometastases? a secondary analysis of the population-based phase II SABR-5 trial
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Reno Eufemon CerenoBenjamin MouSarah BakerNick ChngGregory ArbourAlanah BergmanMitchell LiuDevin SchellenbergQuinn MatthewsVicky HuangAnte MestrovicDerek HydeAbraham AlexanderHannah CarolanFred HsuStacy MillerSiavash AtrchianElisa ChanClement HoIslam MohamedAngela LinTanya BerrangAndrew BangWill JiangChad LundHoward PaiBoris ValevShilo LefresneScott TyldesleyRobert A Olson

Clinical Trial

Radiother Oncol. 2023 May;182:109576.
doi: 10.1016/j.radonc.2023.109576. 



Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) for oligometastases may improve survival, however concerns about safety remain. To mitigate risk of toxicity, target coverage was sacrificed to prioritize organs-at-risk (OARs) during SABR planning in the population-based SABR-5 trial. This study evaluated the effect of this practice on dosimetry, local recurrence (LR), and progression-free survival (PFS).


This single-arm phase II trial included patients with up to 5 oligometastases between November 2016 and July 2020. Theprotocol-specified planning objective was to cover 95 % of the planning target volume (PTV) with 100 % of the prescribed dose, however PTV coverage was reduced as needed to meet OAR constraints. This trade-off was measured using the coverage compromise index (CCI), computed as minimum dose received by the hottest 99 % of the PTV (D99) divided by the prescription dose. Under-coverage was defined as CCI < 0.90. The potential association between CCI and outcomes was evaluated.


549 lesions from 381 patients were assessed. Mean CCI was 0.88 (95 % confidence interval [CI], 0.86-0.89), and 196 (36 %) lesions were under-covered. The highest mean CCI (0.95; 95 %CI, 0.93-0.97) was in non-spine bone lesions (n = 116), while the lowest mean CCI (0.71; 95 % CI, 0.69-0.73) was in spine lesions (n = 104). On multivariable analysis, under-coverage did not predict for worse LR (HR 0.48, p = 0.37) or PFS (HR 1.24, p = 0.38). Largest lesion diameter, colorectal and 'other' (non-prostate, breast, or lung) primary predicted for worse LR. Largest lesion diameter, synchronous tumor treatment, short disease free interval, state of oligoprogression, initiation or change in systemic treatment, and a high PTV Dmax were significantly associated with PFS.


PTV under-coverage was not associated with worse LR or PFS in this large, population-based phase II trial. Combined with low toxicity rates, this study supports the practice of prioritizing OAR constraints during oligometastatic SABR planning.


Coverage compromise index; Oligometastases; Oligometastasis; SABR; SABR-5; SBRT; Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy; Stereotactic body radiation therapy.