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Stereotactic radiotherapy

Published on 21 April 2022

Highly focused stereotactic radiotherapy is a treatment on offer at the Edinburgh Cancer Centre. The service cares for patients who have non-cancerous conditions. Referrals to this base at the Western General Hospital come from a diverse team that spans Scotland.

When do patients need stereotactic radiotherapy?

The service treats arteriovenous malformations (AVM) and vestibular schwannoma (VS). These are abnormalities in the brain. A small number of rarer tumours can also benefit from this method. These inlcude meningioma, paraganglionoma and some base of skull tumours. Several beams of radiation target the tumours very precisely.

Patients need stereotactic radiotherapy if surgery may have too high a risk of mortality (death) or morbidity (disease). This can either be due to tumour location or patient fitness.

Patients with AVM need a planning angiogram. This looks at their blood vessels before they have stereotactic radiotherapy. For many, this requires an overnight stay. But, all pre-treatment procedures take place at this visit. These include CT and MRI scans, plus the angiogram.

Most other patients get one dose of radiotherapy in one day as outpatients. In addition to those who actually receive the radiotherapy, many discuss management options with an expert.

Lead clinician

Dr Sara Erridge, Consultant Clinical Oncologist


Edinburgh Cancer Centre
Western General Hospital

Referral process

Referrals should be made via the service's dedicated email account

NSD contact

NSD Specialist Services

Please note that NSD does not directly provide medical services and we won't be able to answer queries about your own care or appointments. If you would like to discuss any aspects of your care, please contact your primary healthcare provider. This might be your GP, Consultant, Nurse or other healthcare professional. They will be best placed to give you the right advice.