Background: A better understanding of the physical and biologic principles of radiation oncology, along with improvements in the technical and clinical aspects of this field, have been gained in recent years. Some of these aspects are presented, with an emphasis on their relevance to the oncologic surgeon.
Results: Recent innovations have improved our ability to deliver high radiation doses safely and to increase the therapeutic ratio of radiation. They include the concurrent administration of radiation sensitizers and chemotherapy, altered fractionation schemes, and the conformal delivery of radiation using sophisticated imaging and planning tools.
Conclusions: The increasing efficacy of radiation, resulting from innovations described in this review and others, enhances the role of radiotherapy in the struggle against cancer.
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