Keywords: 3D conformal radiation treatment, cyberknife, HDR, high dose region, gamma knife, IMRT, atomic radiation, nuclear radiation, therapeutic applications, cancer, tumours, radiation dosage, intensity modulated radiation therapy, image guided radiation treatment, heavy charged particle radiotherapy
Recent developments in therapeutic applications of atomic and nuclear radiations
In recent years, the major 'challenge' of radiation treatment is to deliver large enough doses to the most resistant cancer cells to provide a high probability of local control while minimising the dose to normal tissues and hence reducing complications. With recent developments in 'imaging' the metabolic or functional status of cancers, the position of tumours relative to surrounding normal tissue can be more clearly delineated. The therapeutic dosage of radiation to the tumours can be escalated without exceeding normal tissue tolerances. These special techniques include: 3D 'conformal' radiation treatment where the shape of the high dose region 'conforms' to the shape of the tumour ('target'), intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) that uses combinations of radiation beams with varying spatial intensity across the fields ('intensity modulated') in order to achieve an 'ideal' dose distribution, image guided radiation treatment, and heavy charged particle radiotherapy.