Palliative Radiation Therapy

  • Shayna E. Rich
  • Kavita V. DharmarajanEmail author


Radiation therapy is frequently delivered with palliative intent. It can reduce pain, neurological dysfunction, bleeding, fungating wounds, nausea, vomiting, or obstructive symptoms. Painful bone metastases are the most common reason for palliative radiation therapy, and radiation therapy has proven response rates of 70–80% in multiple clinical trials. Treatment of brain metastases can help control neurological symptoms. Palliative radiation can also be used to treat head and neck cancer, liver or pelvic tumors, superior vena cava syndrome, or skin cancer. Since palliative radiation is typically delivered at low doses, re-irradiation may be provided without much risk of additional toxicity.


Bone metastases Stereotactic radiosurgery Hypofractionation Superior vena cava syndrome Re-irradiation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Haven HospiceGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Icahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA

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