Applications to Image-Guided Radiation Treatment Planning

Authored by: Shi Chengyu , Fuss Martin , Papanikolaou Niko , X. George Xu

Handbook of Anatomical Models for Radiation Dosimetry

Print publication date:  September  2009
Online publication date:  September  2009

Print ISBN: 9781420059793
eBook ISBN: 9781420059809
Adobe ISBN:


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With the development of imaging technology, researchers can use radiation therapy to treat tumors more precisely in this image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) era. Currently, there are at least two trends in the use of radiation therapy: it is more timely and can be used more efficiently than conventional treatment. “More timely” means the real-time imaging, or the four-dimensional (4D) imaging, make the treatment more be able to account for intrafraction motion, which is mainly caused by the patient's respiratory motion. 1 “More efficiently” means on-board imaging systems make the treatment delivery closer to planning, by accounting for interfraction motion, such as the patient's setup uncertainty, using an adaptive radiation therapy algorithm. 2 In both trends, medical imaging is the foundational work. Without medical imaging technology development, it would be difficult to achieve the goals of those two trends. Medical imaging plays an important role in radiation therapy through the entire treatment process, especially in treatment planning and delivery. Treatment planning and delivery is a proverbial “chicken-and-egg” dilemma. Even though planning will normally happen before delivery, delivery can also affect planning by updating the patient's current status (termed real-time planning) or his/her treatment history (termed adaptive planning). To solve this dilemma, researchers require the acquisition of more patient's status information through medical imaging systems. They also require the processing of that imaging information quickly and accurately. Therefore, several challenges have been proposed, and need solutions, in order to achieve the twin goals of “more timely” and “more efficiently.”

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