Different styles of image-guided radiotherapy.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


To account for geometric uncertainties during radiotherapy, safety margins are applied. In many cases, these margins overlap organs at risk, thereby limiting dose escalation. The aim of image-guided radiotherapy is to improve the accuracy by imaging tumors and critical structures on the machine just before irradiation. The availability of high-quality imaging systems and automatic image registration on the machine leads to many new clinical applications, such as high-precision hypofractionated treatments of brain metastases and solitary long tumors with online tumor position corrections. In this review, the prerequisites for image guidance in terms of planning, image acquisition, and processing are first described. Then, the various methods of correction are discussed such as table shifts and rotation and direct adaptation of machine parameters. Then, online, offline, and intrafraction correction strategies are discussed. Finally, some imaging dose issues are discussed showing that kilovoltage cone-beam computed tomography guidance has a net positive impact on the integral dose; the gain caused by margin reduction is larger than the image dose. We can conclude that image-guided radiotherapy is very much a clinical reality and that the development of optimal clinical protocols should currently be the focus of research.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalSeminars in Radiation Oncology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007