MRI-only treatment planning: benefits and challenges

Phys Med Biol. 2018 Feb 26;63(5):05TR01. doi: 10.1088/1361-6560/aaaca4.


Over the past decade, the application of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has increased, and there is growing evidence to suggest that improvements in the accuracy of target delineation in MRI-guided radiation therapy may improve clinical outcomes in a variety of cancer types. However, some considerations should be recognized including patient motion during image acquisition and geometric accuracy of images. Moreover, MR-compatible immobilization devices need to be used when acquiring images in the treatment position while minimizing patient motion during the scan time. Finally, synthetic CT images (i.e. electron density maps) and digitally reconstructed radiograph images should be generated from MRI images for dose calculation and image guidance prior to treatment. A short review of the concepts and techniques that have been developed for implementation of MRI-only workflows in radiation therapy is provided in this document.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Prognosis
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Radiotherapy, Image-Guided / methods*