The role of PET in target localization for radiotherapy treatment planning

A. Rembielak, Patricia Price

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Positron emission tomography (PET) is currently accepted as an important tool in oncology, mostly for diagnosis,staging and restaging purposes. It provides a new type of information in radiotherapy, functional rather than anatomical. PET imaging can also be used for target volume definition in radiotherapy treatment planning. The need for very precise target volume delineation has arisen with the increasing use of sophisticated three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy techniques and intensity modulated radiation therapy. It is expected that better delineation of the target volume may lead to a significant reduction in the irradiated volume, thus lowering the risk of treatment complications (smaller safety margins). Better tumour visualisation also allows a higher dose of radiation to be applied to the tumour, which may lead to better tumour control. The aim of this article is to review the possible use of PET imaging in the radiotherapy of various cancers. We focus mainly on non-small cell lung cancer, lymphoma and oesophageal cancer, but also include current opinion on the use of PET-based planning in other tumours including brain, uterine cervix, rectum and prostate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57–62
Number of pages6
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2008


  • positron emission tomography (PET)
  • radiotherapy planning
  • target volume


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