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Oncology (Williston Park). 2009 Mar;23(3):279-83.

Current status and future potential of advanced technologies in radiation oncology. Part 1. Challenges and resources.

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  • 1Clinical Radiation Oncology Branch, Radiation Research Program, Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, Maryland 20852, USA.


In 2006, the Radiation Research Program of the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis of the National Cancer Institute hosted a workshop intended to address current issues related to advanced radiation therapy technologies, with an eye toward (1) defining the specific toxicities that have limited the success of "conventional" radiation therapy, (2) examining the evidence from phase III studies for the improvements attributed to the advanced technologies in the treatment of several cancers commonly treated with radiation therapy, and (3) determining the opportunities and priorities for further technologic development and clinical trials. The new technologies offer substantial theoretical advantage in radiation dose distributions that, if realized in clinical practice, may help many cancer patients live longer and/or better. The precision of the advanced technologies may allow us to reduce the volume of normal tissue irradiated in the vicinity of the clinical target volume. Part 1 of this two-part article will provide a general overview of the workshop discussion, focusing on the challenges posed by the new technologies and resources available or in development for meeting those challenges. Part 2, which will appear in next month's issue of ONCOLOGY, will address the state of the science for each disease site.

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