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Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 934380, 8 pages
Review Article

Towards Multidimensional Radiotherapy: Key Challenges for Treatment Individualisation

1Medical Radiation Physics, Stockholm University and Karolinska Institutet, P.O. Box 260, 171 76 Stockholm, Sweden
2Department of Radiation Physics and Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University, 581 83 Linköping, Sweden

Received 4 July 2014; Accepted 3 September 2014

Academic Editor: Eva Bezak

Copyright © 2015 Iuliana Toma-Dasu and Alexandru Dasu. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Functional and molecular imaging of tumours have offered the possibility of redefining the target in cancer therapy and individualising the treatment with a multidimensional approach that aims to target the adverse processes known to impact negatively upon treatment result. Following the first theoretical attempts to include imaging information into treatment planning, it became clear that the biological features of interest for targeting exhibit considerable heterogeneity with respect to magnitude, spatial, and temporal distribution, both within one patient and between patients, which require more advanced solutions for the way the treatment is planned and adapted. Combining multiparameter information from imaging with predictive information from biopsies and molecular analyses as well as in treatment monitoring of tumour responsiveness appears to be the key approach to maximise the individualisation of treatment. This review paper aims to discuss some of the key challenges for incorporating into treatment planning and optimisation the radiobiological features of the tumour derived from pretreatment PET imaging of tumour metabolism, proliferation, and hypoxia and combining them with intreatment monitoring of responsiveness and other predictive factors with the ultimate aim of individualising the treatment towards the maximisation of response.