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J Clin Oncol. 2007 Mar 10;25(8):938-46.

Advances in image-guided radiation therapy.

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1
Radiation Medicine Program, Princess Margaret Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada. laura.dawson@rmp.uhn.on.ca

Abstract

Imaging is central to radiation oncology practice, with advances in radiation oncology occurring in parallel to advances in imaging. Targets to be irradiated and normal tissues to be spared are delineated on computed tomography (CT) scans in the planning process. Computer-assisted design of the radiation dose distribution ensures that the objectives for target coverage and avoidance of healthy tissue are achieved. The radiation treatment units are now recognized as state-of-the-art robotics capable of three-dimensional soft tissue imaging immediately before, during, or after radiation delivery, improving the localization of the target at the time of radiation delivery, to ensure that radiation therapy is delivered as planned. Frequent imaging in the treatment room during a course of radiation therapy, with decisions made on the basis of imaging, is referred to as image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT). IGRT allows changes in tumor position, size, and shape to be measured during the course of therapy, with adjustments made to maximize the geometric accuracy and precision of radiation delivery, reducing the volume of healthy tissue irradiated and permitting dose escalation to the tumor. These geometric advantages increase the chance of tumor control, reduce the risk of toxicity after radiotherapy, and facilitate the development of shorter radiotherapy schedules. By reducing the variability in delivered doses across a population of patients, IGRT should also improve interpretation of future clinical trials.

PMID:
17350942
DOI:
10.1200/JCO.2006.09.9515
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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