Quantitative Imaging in Radiation Oncology: An Emerging Science and Clinical Service

Semin Radiat Oncol. 2015 Oct;25(4):292-304. doi: 10.1016/j.semradonc.2015.05.002. Epub 2015 May 15.


Radiation oncology has long required quantitative imaging approaches for the safe and effective delivery of radiation therapy. The past 10 years has seen a remarkable expansion in the variety of novel imaging signals and analyses that are starting to contribute to the prescription and design of the radiation treatment plan. These include a rapid increase in the use of magnetic resonance imaging, development of contrast-enhanced imaging techniques, integration of fluorinated deoxyglucose-positron emission tomography, evaluation of hypoxia imaging techniques, and numerous others. These are reviewed with an effort to highlight challenges related to quantification and reproducibility. In addition, several of the emerging applications of these imaging approaches are also highlighted. Finally, the growing community of support for establishing quantitative imaging approaches as we move toward clinical evaluation is summarized and the need for a clinical service in support of the clinical science and delivery of care is proposed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Contrast Media
  • Diagnostic Imaging*
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Radiation Oncology / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results


  • Contrast Media