“With continued support for cutting-edge investigation, there is reason for optimism that radiation oncology will keep pace with other fast-moving sectors of cancer care and offer better treatments to patients in the years to come.”
Tremendous technological progress has been made in radiation oncology in the past three decades, with the advent of software and hardware inventions that integrate three-dimensional tumour imaging with highly accurate treatment delivery methods. Consequently, patients treated for common malignancies have better tumour control and fewer side-effects than ever before.
In many instances, such as selected head and neck, lung, bladder, uterine cervix, and prostate cancers, radiotherapy offers a non-invasive, organ-sparing, potentially curative treatment with equivalent long-term outcomes and often fewer toxic effects than more invasive approaches.
Modern radiotherapy technology can provide high-value care. The precision achieved with new treatment systems not only reduces toxic effects but also allows radiation oncologists to shorten the overall treatment schedule for many patients. Stereotactic techniques enable non-invasive cranial and extracranial tumour ablation, unlocking novel management strategies in oligometastatic disease.