Dosimetry and Medical Radiation Physics (DMRP)

Imaging in Radiotherapy

The adaptation and integration of imaging into the process of cancer detection, diagnosis, and intervention is an area of medicine that is undergoing extremely rapid development. Radiation therapy is a prime example of this change. The role of the medical physicist in the radiation therapy process accelerates the development and introduction of these technologies into the clinical setting. As a result, imaging is now a pervasive component of radiation therapy with all major imaging modalities represented and numerous examples in which these modalities have been used in treatment planning to allow increased accuracy and precision in the delivery of dose. While the objectives of these developments are clear, they raise numerous issues regarding the skills and resources that assure these technologies are appropriately integrated and applied. Specifically, these developments place enormous pressure on the clinical staff to extend their knowledge base and their scope of responsibility.

The IAEA assembled a team of medical physicists with experience in radiation therapy and imaging consisting of: D. Jaffray (Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, Canada), P. Keall (Stanford University Cancer Center, Stanford, USA), B. Mijnheer (The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands), M.O. Leach (The Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton, United Kingdom), J. Humm (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, USA) and charged them to examine the increasing role of imaging in the radiation therapy process and make recommendations related to their observations. The current report provides a perspective on the issues related to imaging in radiation therapy assisting the Agency in accommodating these issues in the years ahead.

Report on Imaging in Radiotherapy