3D and 4D Planning
Optimal treatment planning procedures play a key role in achieving cancer care goals. Recent improvements in computer systems and treatment planning software allow physicians to visualize a patient's anatomy in multiple dimensions. Such treatment planning improves the accuracy of planning, creates better coverage of tumors and reduces exposure to normal tissues which reduces side effects.
3-D Treatment Planning
3-D computer systems and treatment planning software allows physicians to visualize a patient's anatomy in three dimensions. Such three-dimensional treatment planning systems improves the accuracy of planning, creates better coverage of tumors and reduces exposure to normal tissues and limits ide effects which leads to better treatment outcomes.
4-D Treatment Planning
Recent advances have led to a new treatment planning approach called four-dimensional or 4-D. This adds in the factor of motion into treatment planning. By monitoring a patient's breathing during their initial simulation for treatment, the physician can make adjustments to the treatment plan based off of the amount of motion experienced.
When patients breathe, the chest wall and abdominal organs move. Respiratory gating matches radiation treatment to the patient's respiratory pattern which allows focusing on the precise location of the cancerous area and the sparing of normal tissue.