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Semin Radiat Oncol. 2004 Jan;14(1):10-8.

Intrafractional tumor motion: lung and liver.

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Department of Radiology, Hokkaido University School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan.


Three-dimensional (3D) dose distribution has been improved by 3D conformation and intensity modulation in external radiotherapy. Interfractional uncertainty has been reduced by image-guided setup techniques. Reduction of ambiguity because of intrafractional target motion is the next step forward. Respiratory organ motion is known to be the largest intrafractional organ motion. Radiotherapy techniques controlling, gating, or tracking respiratory motion are under investigation to use smaller safety margins and higher doses for moving tumors. However, data on intrafractional tumor motion are sparse. We developed a fluoroscopic real-time tracking system and implantation techniques of fiducial markers for moving organs and have been accumulating knowledge about internal tumor motion. We also found the importance of 4-dimensional treatment planning to account for tumor motion in precision radiotherapy. This article reviews the current basic knowledge on respiratory physiology and summarizes the accumulating knowledge on internal motion of lung and liver tumors.

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