Clinical implementation of intensity-modulated radiation therapy

Cheng B. Saw, Komanduri M. Ayyangar, Weining Zhen, Maung Yoe-sein, Susha Pillai, Charles A. Enke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The clinical implementation of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is a complex process because of the introduction of new treatment planning algorithms and beam delivery systems compared to conventional 3-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT) and the lack of established national performance protocols. IMRT uses an inverse-planning algorithm to create nonuniform fields that are only deliverable through a newly designed beam-modulating delivery system. The intent of this paper is to describe our experience and to elucidate the new clinical procedures that must be executed to have a successful IMRT program. Patients who undergo IMRT at our institution are immobilized and simulated before proceeding to computed tomography scan for patient data acquisition. Treatment planning involves the use of different prescription dose formats and different planning techniques compared to 3D-CRT. The desired dose goals for the target and sensitive structures must be specified before initiating the planning process, which is computer intensive. After the plan is completed, the delivery instructions are transferred to the delivery system via either a floppy disk for MIMiC-based IMRT or through the network for MLC-based IMRT. Target localizations are carried out using orthogonal radiographs. Ultrasound imaging system (BAT) is used to localize the prostate. Dose validation is performed using films, ion chambers or dose-calculation-based techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-169
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Dosimetry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Intensity-modulation radiation therapy
  • Quality assurance
  • Radiation therapy
  • Treatment planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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