Oligometastases: the new paradigm and options for radiotherapy
Traditional oncology distinguishes between two separate and incommensurable states in the evolution of solid malignancies: the localized disease, which is curable; and the disseminated status, which is per se palliative. Recently, a huge body of evidence suggests a fundamental change in the understanding of cancer, indicating an intermediate state in the trajectory of solid malignancies: the oligometastatic state. The following review will critically analyse existing hypotheses and facts from the basic sciences and try to contextualize it in regard to the clinical evidence available to date. Consecutively, it will try to draw possible clinical consequences for application of radiotherapy in this specific clinical scenario.