Radiation oncology: Overview and recent advances

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Most patients with cancer will be looked after by a diverse team made up of members from community- and hospital-based services. This team will include radiation oncologists. Radiotherapy is an important part of radical or palliative management in about 50% of patients with cancer. In recent years the specialty of radiation oncology has seen rapid advances in physics and technology, several of which are now having an impact in the clinic where they are helping to realise newer and more effective treatment options. The purpose of this article is to highlight these advances for non-radiation oncologists, with examples of where and how they are changing treatment for patients. The necessity to evaluate and implement high-technology radiotherapy in a cost-efficient manner is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-144
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2010


  • Image-guided radiotherapy
  • Intensity-modulated radiotherapy
  • Radiation oncology
  • Radiotherapy
  • Stereotactic radiotherapy
  • Volumetric-modulated arc therapy

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