Technological evolution of radiation treatment: Implications for clinical applications.


Department of Advanced Biomedical Sciences, University "Federico II", Napoli, Italy. Electronic address: [Email]


The contemporary approach to the management of a cancer patient requires an "ab initio" involvement of different medical domains in order to correctly design an individual patient's pathway toward cure. With new therapeutic tools in every medical field developing faster than ever before the patient care outcomes can be achieved if all surgical, drug, and radiation options are considered in the design of the appropriate therapeutic strategy for a given patient. Radiation therapy (RT) is a clinical discipline in which experts from different fields continuously interact in order to manage the multistep process of the radiation treatment. RT is found to be an appropriate intervention for diverse indications in about 50% of cancer patients during the course of their disease. Technologies are essential in dealing with the complexity of RT treatments and for driving the increasingly sophisticated RT approaches becoming available for the treatment of Cancer. High conformal techniques, namely intensity modulated or volumetric modulated arc techniques, ablative techniques (Stereotactic Radiotherapy and Stereotactic Radiosurgery), particle therapy (proton or carbon ion therapy) allow for success in treating irregularly shaped or critically located targets and for the sharpness of the dose fall-off outside the target. The advanced on-board imaging, including real-time position management systems, makes possible image-guided radiation treatment that results in substantial margin reduction and, in select cases, implementation of an adaptive approach. The therapeutic gains of modern RT are also due in part to the enhanced anticancer activity obtained by coadministering RT with chemotherapy, targeted molecules, and currently immune checkpoints inhibitors. These main clinically relevant steps forward in Radiation Oncology represent a change of gear in the field that may have a profound impact on the management of cancer patients.


IMRT,Particle beam therapy,Radiation therapy,Stereotactic radiotherapy,

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