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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Sotirios Stathakis, Ph.D.(University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio)
Description: This well-referenced, informative book covers topics from basic radiation physics principles to modern radiation delivery techniques as applied to clinical practice. With this fourth edition, the text has been amended to address new radiation delivery technologies and their associated techniques. The second edition has been the standard in the field for the last 20 years, with the core of the material remaining the same since that edition.
Purpose: The author successfully addresses the practical aspects of radiation physics from a clinical perspective. This edition is a chapter by chapter revision of radiation physics and addresses new technologies in radiation therapy with two new chapters. It can be used as an introductory textbook for radiation physics students as well as a reference for practicing medical physicists.
Audience: This book can be used by the entire radiation therapy team (radiation oncologists, medical physicists, dosimetrists, and radiation therapists). For radiation oncology residents and medical physics graduate students, it provides a basic understanding of radiation physics and radiation delivery concepts. Even radiation therapists may refer to it. It provides a thorough understanding of the physics and practical clinical applications of advanced radiation therapy technologies, including 3D conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT), stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), high dose-rate remote afterloaders (HDR), intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) and proton beam therapy. These technologies are discussed along with the physical concepts underlying dosimetry, treatment planning, and treatment delivery.
Features: Part 1 of the book's three parts (chapters 1-8) covers basic radiation physics from the structure of matter to measurements of absorbed dose. These chapters define radiation quantities and the basic principles of radiation and serve as a good reference for graduate students and residents in radiation oncology and medical physics. Part 2 (chapters 9-18) covers classic radiation therapy topics, such as dosimetric calculations, treatment planning, electron therapy, brachytherapy, radiation protection, quality assurance, and total body irradiation. These chapters present the fundamentals of clinical radiation therapy and are directed to radiation oncology physicists and medical physics graduate students. A number of examples and color figures facilitate the comprehension of the material. Modern radiation therapies — 3D-CRT, IMRT, SRS, high and low dose brachytherapy, IGRT, and proton beam radiotherapy — are discussed in Part 3 (chapters 19-26). The highlight of this section is the addition of chapters 25 and 26 (IGRT and proton beam therapy). Overall, the quality of the presentation has been improved over the previous editions. All 26 chapters include high quality color graphs and figures on high quality paper. There are more than 150 figures and numerous tables. An appendix includes 27 tables of radiation physics related data. The addition of the color figures greatly improves the readability and helps to complement the text. Key points at the end of each chapter highlight the noteworthy concepts of discussion and emphasize the take-home message. The font size, especially for symbols used in equations (superscripts and subscripts) is fairly small, which adversely affects the readability of the text. A few new minor typographical and some older arithmetic errors (seen in the second and third editions) have made it into this edition. Chapter 16, on radiation protection, does not incorporate the more recent information and effective dose definition of NCRP Report No. 1161 and does not update the "structural shielding design" (paragraph 16.6) with recent data and methods found in NCRP Report No. 151.2. This classic book is one of the few that have followed the growth of the field by publishing new editions every few years, to provide coverage of new technologies and techniques in radiation therapy physics. It is only natural to expect that a future edition will come along in which minor typographical and arithmetic errors might be corrected. Purchase of the book includes access to an online version containing an image pool of even higher quality images, which may be useful to educators and students alike.
Assessment: Pertinent for the entire radiation oncology team, this leading reference radiation therapy physics is clinically oriented and presents practical aspects as well as underlying theory to clarify basic concepts. In this edition, the book expands the focus of radiotherapy physics with two new chapters on advanced topics of radiation therapy and updates the remaining chapters to include new developments or improved practices over the past five years. Illustrations are also overhauled to reflect current practice and to detail the new procedures. Overall, the book continues to provide a solid foundation for residents and a strong review and clinical guidance for practitioners.