Vol 27, No 1 (2022)
Review paper
Published online: 2021-12-10

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Special stereotactic radiotherapy techniques: procedures and equipment for treatment simulation and dose delivery

Lisa Paoletti1, Corrado Ceccarelli2, Claudia Menichelli3, Cynthia Aristei4, Simona Borghesi5, Enrico Tucci5, Paolo Bastiani1, Salvatore Cozzi6
Rep Pract Oncol Radiother 2022;27(1):1-9.


Stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT) is a multi-step procedure with each step requiring extreme accuracy. Physician-dependent accuracy includes appropriate disease staging, multi-disciplinary discussion with shared decision-making, choice of morphological and functional imaging methods to identify and delineate the tumor target and organs at risk, an image-guided patient set-up, active or passive management of intra-fraction movement, clinical and instrumental follow-up. Medical physicist-dependent accuracy includes use of advanced software for treatment planning and more advanced Quality Assurance procedures than required for conventional radiotherapy. Consequently, all the professionals require appropriate training in skills for high-quality SRT.

Thanks to the technological advances, SRT has moved from a “frame-based” technique, i.e. the use of stereotactic coordinates which are identified by means of rigid localization frames, to the modern “frame-less” SRT which localizes the target volume directly, or by means of anatomical surrogates or fiducial markers that have previously been placed within or near the target.

This review describes all the SRT steps in depth, from target simulation and delineation procedures to treatment delivery and image-guided radiation therapy. Target movement assessment and management are also described.


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