Organ at Risk Dose Constraints in SABR: A Systematic Review of Active Clinical Trials Journal Articles uri icon

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  • PURPOSE: Organ at risk (OAR) dose constraints are a critical aspect of SABR treatment planning. There is limited evidence supporting preferred dose constraints for many OARs. We sought to evaluate OAR dose constraints used in ongoing clinical trials of SABR for oligometastatic disease. METHODS AND MATERIALS: was searched from inception to February 2020 to capture actively accruing clinical trials using SABR in oligometastatic disease. Dose constraints were obtained by contacting principal investigators and abstracted by 2 authors. Variability of constraints was assessed by comparing the width of the interquartile range and difference between the maximum and minimum dose to a volume. RESULTS: Fifty-three of 85 eligible clinical trials contributed OAR constraints used in analysis. Dose constraints for 1 to 8 fractions of SABR were collected for 33 OARs. Variability was found in the absolute allowable OAR doses, use of planning OAR volumes, and whether constraints were optional versus mandatory. For many OARs, modal dose constraints often matched a pre-existing publication, but no single pre-existing publication matched the modes of all OAR dose constraints. Organs displaying the most variability were the rectum, penile bulb, and chest wall and ribs. The esophagus, stomach, duodenum, and small bowel also indicated high variability for at least 1 constraint. OARs previously evaluated by HyTEC appeared to have less variability among study protocols. CONCLUSIONS: We found substantial variability in OAR dose constraints used in current clinical trials evaluating SABR in oligometastatic disease. We are unable to comment on toxicity rates or acceptability of dose constraints used. Future research and recommendations for standardized OAR dose constraints, as well as consistency in implementing planning OAR volume margins, should be priorities for the field of radiation oncology.


  • Gerhard, Serenna G
  • Palma, David A
  • Arifin, Andrew J
  • Louie, Alexander V
  • Li, George J
  • Al-Shafa, Faiez
  • Cheung, Patrick
  • Rodrigues, George B
  • Bassim, Carol Walker
  • Corkum, Mark T

publication date

  • July 2021