Vol. 1 No. 7 (2021)
Health Technology Reviews

Implementation of Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy for the Treatment of Oligometastatic Cancer in Canada

Published July 7, 2021

Key Messages

  • The aim of this Environmental Scan is to identify and describe the use of stereotactic ablative radiotherapy in Canada, the systems in place to manage the treatment of patients with oligometastatic cancer, and the barriers and facilitators to the implementation of this treatment. The findings are based on a literature review, 22 survey responses from stakeholders, and email- and video call-based follow-up consultations with select stakeholders. Ten Canadian jurisdictions were represented by the survey respondents, who were primarily radiation oncologists.
  • Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy for the treatment of oligometastatic cancer is currently being accessed in all Canadian provinces as a standard treatment option. Centres are primarily treating oligometastases in the lungs, bones (non-spine), lymph nodes, spine, and liver. Some cancer care centres have the capacity for stereotactic ablative radiotherapy to treat localized primary tumours but do not treat oligometastatic sites.
  • There is a variation in patient selection criteria and treatment guidelines across Canadian jurisdictions, with most facilities following institutional guidance for the processes required for patient prioritization and treatment. There is a lack of standardized consensus guidelines with common criteria.
  • Reported facilitators for the implementation of stereotactic ablative radiotherapy for the treatment of oligometastatic cancer include access to dedicated equipment and teams. Reported barriers to its implementation include the lack of standardized patient selection and treatment guidelines, and constraints in equipment and staff resources (including time).