Innovation and the future of advanced dosimetry: 2D to 5D
© Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd. Recent years have witnessed a remarkable evolution in the techniques, capabilities and applications of 3D dosimetry. Initially the goal was simple: to innovate new techniques capable of comprehensively measuring and verifying exquisitely intricate dose distributions from a paradigm changing emerging new therapy, IMRT. Basic questions emerged: how well were treatment planning systems modelling the complex delivery, and how could treatments be verified for safe use on patients? Since that time, equally significant leaps of innovation have continued in the technology of treatment delivery. In addition, clinical practice has been transformed by the addition of on-board imaging capabilities, which tend to hypo-fractionation strategies and margin reduction. The net result is a high stakes treatment setting where the clinical morbidity of any unintended treatment deviation is exacerbated by the combination of highly conformal dose distributions given with reduced margins with fractionation regimens unfriendly to healthy tissue. Not surprisingly this scenario is replete with challenges and opportunities for new and improved dosimetry systems. In particular tremendous interest exists in comprehensive 3D dosimetry systems, and systems that can resolve the dose in moving structures (4D) and even in deforming structures (5D). Despite significant progress in the capability of multi-dimensional dosimetry systems, it is striking that true 3D dosimetry systems are today largely found in academic institutions or specialist clinics. The reasons will be explored. We will highlight innovations occurring both in treatment delivery and in advanced dosimetry methods designed to verify them, and explore current and future opportunities for advanced dosimetry tools in clinical practice and translational research.
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