WE‐SAM‐BRB‐01: Image Processing in Radiation Therapy: A Play in Three Acts

M. Kessler, Jeff Siewerdsen, J. J. Sonke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Acquisition, processing and analysis of medical image data are now fundamental parts of patient management in radiation therapy. Image data are used to aid diagnosis and staging, to guide treatment planning and delivery and to help monitor the patient during and after therapy. Most radiotherapy departments have dedicated CT scanners, some with 4D capabilities. Many departments also have or are contemplating dedicated MR and PET/CT scanners. More imaging devices are also appearing in the treatment room, with in‐room, on‐board and integrated imaging devices becoming commonplace. The availability of hybrid MR scanner/treatment units is not far off. Naturally, each imaging modality provides both benefits and challenges towards supporting and improving the radiotherapy process. In order to leverage the information in the various imaging studies, effective processing tools are needed to extract useful information and to combine and present it in a way that promotes a clear and efficient workflow. There are several classes of these tools including image enhancement, visualization, segmentation, registration and quantification. These tools may be used individually or in combination at many points in the radiotherapy process with the overall goal to create a more complete and accurate model of the patient so that an effective course of therapy can be devised and carried out. This course provides an overview of the different imaging modalities and procedures used in radiotherapy and highlights the benefits and challenges of each. A detailed description of the various image processing tools used to extract, combine and analyze the information from different imaging studies is also presented. Finally, the effective use of these tools at each step of the radiotherapy process is described and elucidated using numerous clinical examples. Learning Objectives: 1. Act 1 Understand the benefits and challenges of the various imaging modalities used in radiation therapy. 2. Act 2 Understand the mechanics of the different classes of image processing tools using in radiotherapy. 3. Act 3 Understand how image processing tools are used to support and improve the radiotherapy process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2752
Number of pages1
JournalMedical Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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