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The Rationale and Use of Three-Dimensional Radiation Treatment Planning for Lung Cancer*

Lawrence B. Marks, MD; Gregory Sibley, MD
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*From the Department of Radiation Oncology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC.

Correspondence to: Lawrence B. Marks, MD, Box 3085, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710; e-mail: marks@radonc.duke.edu



Chest. 1999;116(suppl_3):539S-545S. doi:10.1378/chest.116.suppl_3.539S
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Treatment of lung cancer with conventional radiation therapy is associated with suboptimal local tumor control and poor long-term survival. Poor local tumor control may result from inaccurate tumor targeting, failure to satisfactorily conform to dose distribution with the target volume, and/or inadequate radiation doses. Three-dimensional treatment planning is a radiotherapy technique that provides more accurate dose targeting via the direct transfer of three-dimensional anatomic information from diagnostic scans into the planning process. This technology can assist treatment planning by providing dose-volume histograms, an estimation of normal tissue complication probabilities, and facilitate dose escalation. Preliminary clinical studies suggest that this is a feasible approach worthy of additional study. The three-dimensional tools provide new opportunities to better understand radiation-induced changes in pulmonary function.

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