Three-dimensional (3-D) treatment planning has been widely recognized as the ultimate method for radiation therapy for several decades. Recently, interest in developing 3-D treatment planning has been stimulated by the advent of computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging, and advanced computer technology. A 3-D treatment planning system requires an interactive computer system which is capable of performing the following functions: Demonstration of the tumor volume and normal anatomy in three dimensions, Calculation of the tumor volume, Definition of the target volume, Measurement of the distance and angles from outer surface reference points (e.g., external meatus) to specific anatomic points of interest (e.g., center of tumor), Projection of the spatial relationship between the therapy beam and normal anatomy, and calculation and display of dose distribution in three-dimensions. We have used a commercially available computer display system with a host microcomputer (M68000) to satisfy the above display and interaction requirements except for the calculation of 3-D dose distributions. The system has been applied to several cases which used CT as the imaging modality. A scanning protocol was established which called for contiguous 5mm thick slices from 2 cm above to 2 cm below the skin markers for the designated treatment field. Each patient was scanned in the treatment position, possibly using a fixation device. The outer skin contours, the tumor and adjacent contours were manually traced using a digitizing pen. The surfaces of the skin, the tumor, and normal anatomic structures were reconstructed in the display computer which then allowed a variety of interactions with the data, including beam definition and the real time positioning of the beam. After beam positions were established, the dose distribution within the treatment volume was computed, reconstructed, and then displayed along with the anatomic structures.