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Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2013 Jan;10(1):52-60. doi: 10.1038/nrclinonc.2012.203. Epub 2012 Nov 27.

Past, present, and future of radiotherapy for the benefit of patients.

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1
Department of Radiation Oncology, Centre Antoine Lacassagne--University Nice Sophia Antipolis, 33 Avenue Valombrose, 06189 Nice, France.

Abstract

Radiotherapy has been driven by constant technological advances since the discovery of X-rays in 1895. Radiotherapy aims to sculpt the optimal isodose on the tumour volume while sparing normal tissues. The benefits are threefold: patient cure, organ preservation and cost-efficiency. The efficacy and tolerance of radiotherapy were demonstrated by randomized trials in many different types of cancer (including breast, prostate and rectum) with a high level of scientific evidence. Such achievements, of major importance for the quality of life of patients, have been fostered during the past decade by linear accelerators with computer-assisted technology. More recently, these developments were augmented by proton and particle beam radiotherapy, usually combined with surgery and medical treatment in a multidisciplinary and personalized strategy against cancer. This article reviews the timeline of 100 years of radiotherapy with a focus on breakthroughs in the physics of radiotherapy and technology during the past two decades, and the associated clinical benefits.

PMID:
23183635
DOI:
10.1038/nrclinonc.2012.203
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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