International Journal of Clinical Oncology

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 564–569 | Cite as

Recent advances in radiation oncology: intensity-modulated radiotherapy, a clinical perspective

  • Katsumasa NakamuraEmail author
  • Tomonari Sasaki
  • Saiji Ohga
  • Tadamasa Yoshitake
  • Kotaro Terashima
  • Kaori Asai
  • Keiji Matsumoto
  • Yoshiyuki Shioyama
  • Hiroshi Honda
Review Article


Radiotherapy plays an important role in the treatment of various malignancies, and intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) is an attractive option because it can deliver precise conformal radiation doses to the target while minimizing the dose to adjacent normal tissues. IMRT provides a highly conformal dose distribution by modulating the intensity of the radiation beam. A number of malignancies have been targeted by IMRT; this work reviews published data on the major disease sites treated with IMRT. The dosimetric advantage of IMRT has resulted in the significant reduction of adverse effects in some tumors. However, there are few clinical trials comparing IMRT and three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT), and no definite increase in survival or the loco-regional control rate by IMRT has been demonstrated in many malignancies. IMRT also requires greater time and resources to complete compared to 3D-CRT. In addition, the cost–effectiveness of IMRT versus 3D-CRT has not yet been established.


Intensity-modulated radiotherapy Three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy Adverse effects Cost–effectiveness Survival 



This study was supported in part by KAKENHI (No. 26670563) and a Health Labor Sciences Research Grant (H23-Sanjigan-Ippan-007) from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Japan Society of Clinical Oncology 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katsumasa Nakamura
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tomonari Sasaki
    • 1
  • Saiji Ohga
    • 1
  • Tadamasa Yoshitake
    • 2
  • Kotaro Terashima
    • 1
  • Kaori Asai
    • 1
  • Keiji Matsumoto
    • 1
  • Yoshiyuki Shioyama
    • 1
  • Hiroshi Honda
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Radiology, Graduate School of Medical SciencesKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Comprehensive Clinical Oncology, Graduate School of Medical SciencesKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan

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