The Use of Quantitative Imaging in Radiation Oncology: A Quantitative Imaging Network (QIN) Perspective

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2018 Nov 15;102(4):1219-1235. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2018.06.023. Epub 2018 Jun 30.


Modern radiation therapy is delivered with great precision, in part by relying on high-resolution multidimensional anatomic imaging to define targets in space and time. The development of quantitative imaging (QI) modalities capable of monitoring biologic parameters could provide deeper insight into tumor biology and facilitate more personalized clinical decision-making. The Quantitative Imaging Network (QIN) was established by the National Cancer Institute to advance and validate these QI modalities in the context of oncology clinical trials. In particular, the QIN has significant interest in the application of QI to widen the therapeutic window of radiation therapy. QI modalities have great promise in radiation oncology and will help address significant clinical needs, including finer prognostication, more specific target delineation, reduction of normal tissue toxicity, identification of radioresistant disease, and clearer interpretation of treatment response. Patient-specific QI is being incorporated into radiation treatment design in ways such as dose escalation and adaptive replanning, with the intent of improving outcomes while lessening treatment morbidities. This review discusses the current vision of the QIN, current areas of investigation, and how the QIN hopes to enhance the integration of QI into the practice of radiation oncology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Radiation Oncology / methods*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Tumor Hypoxia