Role of fusion in radiotherapy treatment planning

Semin Nucl Med. 2003 Jul;33(3):238-43. doi: 10.1053/snuc.2003.127313.


The fusion of functional imaging to traditional imaging modalities, such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), is currently being investigated in radiotherapy treatment planning. Most studies that have been reported are in patients with lung, brain, or head and neck neoplasms. There is a potential role for either positron emission tomography (PET) or single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) to delineate biologically active or tumor-bearing areas that otherwise would not be detected by CT or MRI. Furthermore, target volumes may be modified by using functional imaging, which can have a significant impact in the modern era of three-dimensional radiotherapy. SPECT may also be able to identify "nonfunctional" surrounding tissue and may influence radiotherapy beam arrangement.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Subtraction Technique*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed / methods*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / methods
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*