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The Role of PET/CT in Radiation Treatment Planning for Cancer Patient Treatment

Clinical PET, combined with utilization of 18F-FDG, may have an important role in radiation treatment planning (RTP) in lung cancer. In addition to determining if RT is appropriate and whether therapy will be given with curative or palliative intent, 18F-FDG-PET is useful for determining therapy ports. It can be used both to limit ports to spare normal tissue and to include additional involved regions. Several studies have shown that PET has an impact on RTP in an important proportion of patients. It is to be hoped that treatment plans that include all the 18F-FDG-avid lesions or the 18F-FDG-avid portions of a complex mass will result in more effective local control with less unnecessary tissue being treated.

The IAEA has placed emphasis on the issue of application of clinical PET for radiation treatment planning in various cancer patients.