External-beam radiation therapy is most often delivered in the form of photon beams (either x-rays or gamma rays). Independent Physicians Medical Center is at the forefront of cutting-edge technology, leading the battle against cancer with a state-of-the-art Siemens Oncor Avant-Garde 3D IMRT radiation therapy machine. IMRT stands for “Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy”. 3D IMRT is an innovative technological advancement allowing for maximum dose delivery to the target tumor while minimizing the dose to the healthy tissues surrounding the cancer site. IMRT is a vigorous treatment advancement as it delivers heterogeneous doses within the tumor in order to achieve a much better treatment outcome with far fewer complications for the patient. (IMRT may not be appropriate for all cancer cases. Oncologists will consult with patients to determine if IMRT would be beneficial.)
Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
IMRT uses hundreds of tiny radiation beam-shaping devices, called collimators, to deliver a single dose of radiation. The collimators can be stationary or can move during treatment, allowing the intensity of the radiation beams to change during treatment sessions. This kind of dose modulation allows different areas of a tumor or nearby tissues to receive different doses of radiation.
The goal of IMRT is to increase the radiation dose to the areas that need it and reduce radiation exposure to specific sensitive areas of surrounding normal tissue. And thus with advances in radiation therapy IGRT became a companion for IMRT. IGRT is an advanced method for accurately guiding the IMRT to the target area.
Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
In IGRT, repeated imaging scans (CT, MRI, or PET) are performed during treatment. These scans are processed by computers to identify changes in a tumor’s size and location due to treatment and to allow the position of the patient or the planned radiation dose to be adjusted during treatment as needed. Repeated imaging can increase the accuracy of radiation treatment and may allow reductions in the planned volume of tissue to be treated, thereby decreasing the total radiation dose to normal tissue.
Benefits of IMRT
- Maximum dose to tumors
- Minimum dose to healthy tissue
- Heterogeneous doses to tumors
- Fewer complications
- Better treatment outcome
- Ability to treat a wider range
of tumors with far better results