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Semin Radiat Oncol. 2005 Jul;15(3):168-79.

Computed tomography guided management of interfractional patient variation.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, MI 48073, USA.


Interfractional patient variation occurs regularly and considerably during the radiotherapy course. Consequently, a generic but large planning target margin has to be applied when patient treatment plan design based on a single pre-treatment computed tomography scan is used to guide multifraction radiation treatment, which creates a major limiting factor for radiotherapy improvement. Planning target margins can be significantly reduced using multiple (or 4-dimensional) image feedback management in the routine treatment process. The most effective method in multiple-image feedback management of radiotherapy is the adaptive control methodology. The adaptive radiotherapy technique aims to customize each patient's treatment plan to patient-specific variation by evaluating and characterizing the systematic and random variations through image feedback and including them in adaptive planning. Adaptive radiotherapy will become a new treatment standard, in which a predesigned adaptive treatment strategy, including the schedules of imaging and replanning, will eventually replace the predesigned treatment plan in the routine clinical practice.

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