From anatomical to biological target volumes: the role of PET in radiation treatment planning

D. Schinagl, J. Kaanders and W. Oyen

Radiation Oncology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.



Progress in radiation oncology requires a re-evaluation of the methods of target volume delineation beyond anatomical localization. New molecular imaging techniques for tumour visualisation such as positron emission tomography (PET) provide insight into tumour characteristics and can be complementary to the anatomical data of computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging. In this review, three issues are discussed: First, can PET identify a tumour more accurately? Second, can biological tumour characteristics be visualised? Third, can intratumoural heterogeneity of these characteristics be identified?