Intensity-modulated radiotherapy for lung cancer: current status and future developments

J Thorac Oncol. 2014 Nov;9(11):1598-608. doi: 10.1097/JTO.0000000000000346.


Radiotherapy plays an important role in the management of lung cancer, with over 50% of patients receiving this modality at some point during their treatment. Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) is a technique that adds fluence modulation to beam shaping, which improves radiotherapy dose conformity around the tumor and spares surrounding normal structures. Treatment with IMRT is becoming more widely available for the treatment of lung cancer, despite the paucity of high level evidence supporting the routine use of this more resource intense and complex technique. In this review article, we have summarized data from planning and clinical studies, discussed challenges in implementing IMRT, and made recommendations on the minimum requirements for safe delivery of IMRT.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / radiotherapy*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated / methods
  • Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated / trends