Technical advances in radiation oncology including CT-simulation, 3D- conformal and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) delivery techniques, and brachytherapy have allowed greater treatment precision and dose escalation. The ability to intensify treatment requires the identification of the critical targets within the treatment field, recognizing the unique biology of tumor, stroma and normal tissue. Precision is technology based while accuracy is biologically based. Therefore, the intensity of IMRT will undoubtedly mean an increase in both irradiation dose and the use of biological agents, the latter considered in the broadest sense. Radiation oncology has the potential and the opportunity to provide major contributions to the linkage between molecular and functional imaging, molecular profiling and novel therapeutics for the emerging molecular targets for cancer treatment. This process of 'credentialing' of molecular targets will require multi disciplinary imaging teams, clinicians and basic scientists. Future advances will depend on the appropriate integration of biology into the training of residents, continuing post graduate education, participation in innovative clinical research and commitment to the support of basic research as an essential component of the practice of radiation oncology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging