Optical Tracking Technology in Stereotactic Radiation Therapy

Thomas H. Wagner, Sanford L. Meeks, Frank J. Bova, William A. Friedman, Twyla R. Willoughby, Patrick A. Kupelian, Wolfgang Tome

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The last decade has seen the introduction of advanced technologies that have enabled much more precise application of therapeutic radiation. These relatively new technologies include multileaf collimators, 3-dimensional conformal radiotherapy planning, and intensity modulated radiotherapy in radiotherapy. Therapeutic dose distributions have become more conformal to volumes of disease, sometimes utilizing sharp dose gradients to deliver high doses to target volumes while sparing nearby radiosensitive structures. Thus, accurate patient positioning has become even more important, so that the treatment delivered to the patient matches the virtual treatment plan in the computer treatment planning system. Optical and image-guided radiation therapy systems offer the potential to improve the precision of patient treatment by providing a more robust fiducial system than is typically used in conventional radiotherapy. The ability to accurately position internal targets relative to the linac isocenter and to provide real-time patient tracking theoretically enables significant reductions in the amount of normal tissue irradiated. This report reviews the concepts, technology, and clinical applications of optical tracking systems currently in use for stereotactic radiation therapy. Applications of radiotherapy optical tracking technology to respiratory gating and the monitoring of implanted fiducial markers are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-120
Number of pages10
JournalMedical Dosimetry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain neoplasms
  • Computer-assisted radiotherapy
  • Optical guidance
  • Radiosurgery
  • Stereotactic radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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