The course aims to present in a structured and summarized way the basics of radiation oncology to treat cancer, especially the biological and physical fundamentals, with present and future perspectives of optimization mostly through technological progress and imaging developments.
The later allowing for an optimal accuracy in the definition of target volumes.
If 3-D dose sculpting around the tumor is the goal, in order to reach it, a perfect organ immobilization and patient positioning reproducibility are needed. Image guided radiotherapy (IGRT) techniques are the best support to overcome such limiting factors.
In addition, a safety margin reduction around the target can be performed with on-line IGRT monitoring during treatment thus reducing the risk of toxicity when high doses to the tumor need to be delivered.
Treatment precision with 3-D conformal RT techniques employing either intensity modulated RT (IMRT) with X-rays or proton beams may deliver almost exclusively ultra-high doses to the tumor potentially improving local control and cure rates while simultaneously reducing morbidity.