Functional imaging in treatment planning of brain lesions

R. J. Hamilton, P. J. Sweeney, C. A. Pelizzari, F. Z. Yetkin, B. L. Holman, B. Garada, R. R. Weichselbaum, G. T Y Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Purpose: Explore the use of functional imaging data in radiation treatment planning of brain lesions. Methods and Materials: Compare the treatment-planning process with and without the use of functional brain imaging for clinical cases where functional studies using either single photon emission computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging are available. Results: A method to register functional image data with planning image studies is needed for functional treatment planning. Functional volumes are not simply connected regions. One activation study may produce many isolated functional areas. After finding the functional volumes and registering the functional information with the planning imaging data, the tools used for conventional three-dimensional treatment planning are sufficient for functional treatment planning. However, the planning system must provide dose-volume histograms for volumes of interest that consist of isolated pieces. Treatment plans that spare functional brain while providing identical target coverage can be constructed for lesions situated near the functional volume. However, the dose to other areas of the brain may fie increased. Conclusions: Functional imaging will make determination of dose response of eloquent areas of the brain possible when combined with volumetric dose information and neuropsychological evaluation prior to and after radiation therapy. Realizing the full potential of functional imaging studies will require improved delineation of activated volumes and determination of the uncertainties in functional volume delineation. Optimization of treatment plans by minimizing dose to volumes activated during functional imaging studies should be used cautiously, because the dose to 'silent,' but possibly eloquent, brain may be increased.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-188
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997


  • Conformal therapy
  • Functional imaging
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery
  • Stereotactic radiotherapy
  • Treatment plan optimization
  • Treatment planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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