Technological Progress in Radiation Therapy for Brain Tumors


To achieve a good therapeutic ratio the radiation dose to the tumor should be as high as possible with the lowest possible dose to the surrounding normal tissue. This is especially the case for brain tumors. Technological advancements in diagnostic imaging, dose calculations, and radiation delivery systems, combined with a better understanding of the pathophysiology of brain tumors have led to improvements in the therapeutic results. The widely used technology of delivering 3-D conformal therapy with photon beams (gamma rays) produced by Linear Accelerators has progressed into the use of Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). Particle beams have been used for several decades for radiotherapy because of their favorable depth dose characteristics. The introduction of clinically dedicated proton beam therapy facilities has improved the access for cancer patients to this treatment. Proton therapy is of particular interest for pediatric malignancies. These technical improvements are further enhanced by the evolution in tumor physiology imaging which allows for improved delineation of the tumor. This in turn opens the potential to adjust the radiation dose to maximize the radiobiological effects. The advances in both imaging and radiation therapy delivery will be discussed.

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F. Vernimmen and K. Rock, "Technological Progress in Radiation Therapy for Brain Tumors," Journal of Cancer Therapy, Vol. 5 No. 1, 2014, pp. 38-43. doi: 10.4236/jct.2014.51005.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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