Palliative radiotherapy

Treatment planning for palliative radiotherapy is a simple procedure as treatment usually consists of a single or parallel opposed treatment beams, where the patient is considered to be unit-density tissue-equivalent material of uniform thickness.

For single beams the dose is usually prescribed to the reference point, which is the point of maximum absorbed dose in the central axis of the beam (or occasionally to a point at depth). Parallel, opposed pairs of beams are normally prescribed to mid-separation of the patient, again in the central axis of the beam.

In all cases, treatment planning can be performed manually from the set of depth dose and output tables for the treatment beams as already described. Prescribed doses for palliative irradiation are usually low, so doses to vulnerable organs close to or within the treated volume are not a problem.

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