Recent advances in radiotherapy
Institute of Cancer Research and Royal Marsden Hospital, Fulham Road, London, UK
BMC Medicine 2010, 8:25 doi:10.1186/1741-7015-8-25Published: 28 April 2010
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.