Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Medicine and BioMed Central.

Journal App

google play app store
Open Access Highly Accessed Minireview

Recent advances in radiotherapy

SA Bhide and CM Nutting*

Author Affiliations

Institute of Cancer Research and Royal Marsden Hospital, Fulham Road, London, UK

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Medicine 2010, 8:25  doi:10.1186/1741-7015-8-25

Published: 28 April 2010

Abstract

Radiation therapy has come a long way from treatment planning based on orthogonal radiographs with large margins around tumours. Advances in imaging and radiation planning software have led to three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy and, further, to intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT). IMRT permits sparing of normal tissues and hence dose-escalation to tumours. IMRT is the current standard in treatment of head and prostate cancer and is being investigated in other tumour sites. Exquisitely sculpted dose distributions (increased geographical miss) with IMRT, plus tumour motion and anatomical changes during radiotherapy make image guided radiotherapy an essential part of modern radiation delivery. Various hardware and software tools are under investigation for optimal IGRT.