The Physics of Radiotherapy X-Rays and Electrons, 3rd Edition

Author:  Peter Metcalfe, Tomas Kron, Peter Hoban, Dean Cutajar, Nicholas Hardcastle
ISBN:  9781951134105
Published:  March 2023 | 704 pp | Hardcover

Price:   $ 185.00


Doody's  |  Dec 2023

METCALFE / The Physics of Radiotherapy X-Rays and Electrons, 3rd Edition. Medical Physics Publishing, Inc., 2023, $185.00.

Metcalfe, Peter; Kron, Tomas; Hoban, Peter; Cutajar, Dean; Hardcastle, Nicholas

[Doody's Web Article] Doody's Web Article

ISBN: 978-1-951134-10-5, 683 pages, hard cover.


This is the third edition of this highly comprehensive and readable book. It includes additional content on image-guided radiation therapy and updated color figures. The new edition remains a useful reference and comprehensive overview for students, trainees, and professionals alike.

The authors join new contributors to revamp this third edition to keep pace with the rapid technological advancements in radiation oncology. In addition to the foundational principles of radiation oncology physics, the book also focuses on the current widespread use of imaging technologies driving many new innovations in the field. The aim is to offer a comprehensive and up-to-date reference that is both informative and accessible, serving the needs of professionals across the spectrum of radiation oncology.

While the book is primarily designed as a go-to reference for radiation oncology physicists with its focus on photon and electron radiation therapy, its scope and depth make it highly useful for a broader audience. This includes radiation oncologists, dosimetrists, and radiation therapists who seek to deepen their understanding of the physical principles behind their daily work. Given its comprehensive nature and the inclusion of study questions with detailed answers, the book also serves as an excellent educational resource for graduate students and radiation oncology residents.

The book is comprised of 14 chapters and an appendix with solutions to the problems found at the end of each chapter. Updated figures and photographs are printed in color. Early chapters cover x-ray and electron production by medical linear accelerators, a review of radiation interactions, and dosimetric properties of photon and electron beams. Middle chapters cover simulation and imaging used for treatment planning as well as a comprehensive overview of computerized treatment planning, including intensity modulation, inverse planning optimization, and modeling of multileaf collimator (MLC) dosimetric properties. This edition includes significant new material on image-guided radiation therapy, including coverage of patient setup and immobilization as well as inter- and intra-fraction motion management. Updated references to modern technology in the discussion of adaptive radiation therapy (ART), such as MRI-LINAC and other dedicated ART platforms, and the role of artificial intelligence are also included. Later chapters cover stereotactic treatments, including advances in localization, delivery techniques, and dedicated hardware platforms; an overview of computational beam modeling and dose calculation algorithms; and x-ray and electron dosimetry, with appropriate coverage of underlying physics principles as well as detector technologies. A welcome and unique section on practical aspects in the clinic accompanies the the book's quality assurance (QA) coverage. The book's concluding chapters cover quality assurance (QA), radiation protection, and radiobiologic and clinical principles of tumor and normal tissue response.

This book's concise and efficient presentation of the material makes it an attractive professional reference and an approachable educational tool. The inclusion of modern technology in this new edition is welcome and well-executed, and the focus on practicality throughout the text is refreshing. Future editions might include an expanded discussion of proton radiotherapy physics given the increasing prevalence of proton centers. Overall, this book is an excellent resource and I would recommend it to those looking for a reference on radiation therapy physics.

Daniel A Alexander, MS, PhD(University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine)


Weighted Numerical Score: 85 - 3 Stars