Radiation oncologists and radiologists have a unique and mutually dependent relationship. Radiation oncologists rely on diagnostic imaging to locate the tumor and define the treatment target volume, evaluation of response to therapy, and follow-up. Accurate interpretation of post-treatment imaging requires diagnostic radiologists to have a basic understanding of radiation treatment planning and delivery. There are various radiation treatment modalities such as 3D conformal radiation therapy, intensity modulated radiation therapy and stereotactic radiosurgery as well as different radiation modalities such as photons and protons that can be used for treatment. All of these have subtle differences in how the treatment is planned and how the imaging findings might be affected. This paper provides an overview of the basic principles of radiation oncology, different radiation treatment modalities, how radiation therapy is planned and delivered, how knowledge of this process can help interpretation of images, and how the radiologist can contribute to this process.
*University of Washington Medical Center, Department of Radiology, Seattle, WA
†University of Washington Medical Center, Department of Radiation Oncology, Seattle, WA.
Address correspondence to Upendra Parvathaneni, MBBS, FRANZCR, University of Washington Medical Center, Department of Radiation Oncology, 1959 NE Pacific Street Seattle, WA 98195 (e-mail: email@example.com).
No funding was received for the preparation of this manuscript.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.