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.
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