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Title: Vision 20/20: Positron emission tomography in radiation therapy planning, delivery, and monitoring

Positron emission tomography (PET) is increasingly considered as an effective imaging method to support several stages of radiation therapy. The combined usage of functional and morphological imaging in state-of-the-art PET/CT scanners is rapidly emerging to support the treatment planning process in terms of improved tumor delineation, and to assess the tumor response in follow-up investigations after or even during the course of fractionated therapy. Moreover, active research is being pursued on new tracers capable of providing different insights into tumor function, in order to identify areas of the planning volume which may require additional dosage for improved probability of tumor control. In this respect, major progresses in the next years will likely concern the development and clinical investigation of novel tracers and image processing techniques for reliable thresholding and segmentation, of treatment planning and beam delivery approaches integrating the PET imaging information, as well as improved multimodal clinical instrumentation such as PET/MR. But especially in the rapidly emerging case of ion beam therapy, the usage of PET is not only limited to the imaging of external tracers injected to the patient. In fact, a minor amount of positron emitters is formed in nuclear fragmentation reactions between the impinging ions andmore » the tissue, bearing useful information for confirmation of the delivered treatment during or after therapeutic irradiation. Different implementations of unconventional PET imaging for therapy monitoring are currently being investigated clinically, and major ongoing research aims at new dedicated detector technologies and at challenging applications such as real-time imaging and time-resolved in vivo verification of motion compensated beam delivery. This paper provides an overview of the different areas of application of PET in radiation oncology and discusses the most promising perspectives in the years to come for radiation therapy planning, delivery, and monitoring.« less
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Faculty of Physics, Department of Medical Physics, Ludwig Maximilians University Munich, Munich 85748 (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22482443
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Medical Physics; Journal Volume: 42; Journal Issue: 12; Other Information: (c) 2015 American Association of Physicists in Medicine; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; ANIMAL TISSUES; BIOMEDICAL RADIOGRAPHY; IMAGE PROCESSING; IN VIVO; NEOPLASMS; NMR IMAGING; NUCLEAR FRAGMENTATION; PLANNING; POSITRON COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY; RADIOTHERAPY; TIME RESOLUTION