Intrafractional motion management in external beam radiotherapy

Vincent W.C. Wu, Amanda P.L. Ng, Emily K.W. Cheung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The recent advancements in radiotherapy technologies have made delivery of the highly conformal dose to the target volume possible. With the increasing popularity of delivering high dose per fraction in modern radiotherapy schemes such as in stereotactic body radiotherapy and stereotactic body ablative therapy, high degree of treatment precision is essential. In order to achieve this, we have to overcome the potential difficulties caused by patient instability due to immobilization problems; patient anxiety and random motion due to prolonged treatment time; tumor deformation and baseline shift during a treatment course. This is even challenging for patients receiving radiotherapy in the chest and abdominal regions because it is affected by the patient's respiration which inevitably leads to tumor motion. Therefore, monitoring of intrafractional motion has become increasingly important in modern radiotherapy. Major intrafractional motion management strategies including integration of respiratory motion in treatment planning; breath-hold technique; forced shallow breathing with abdominal compression; respiratory gating and dynamic real-time tumor tracking have been developed. Successful intrafractional motion management is able to reduce the planning target margin and ensures planned dose delivery to the target and organs at risk. Meanwhile, the emergency of MRI-linear accelerator has facilitated radiation-free real-time monitoring of soft tissue during treatment and could be the future modality in motion management. This review article summarizes the various approaches that deal with intrafractional target, organs or patient motion with discussion of their advantages and limitations. In addition, the potential future advancements including MRI-based tumor tracking are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1071-1086
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of X-Ray Science and Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2020


  • breath-hold
  • Intrafractional motion
  • real-time motion management
  • respiratory gating
  • tumor tracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Instrumentation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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