Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
Intensity modulated radiation therapy, or IMRT, is a specialized form of conformal radiation that allows radiation to be more exactly shaped to fit the tumor. With IMRT, the radiation beam can be broken up into many segments, or “beamlets,” and the intensity of each can be adjusted separately. This technique may improve the level of toxicity by decreasing the radiation dose to structures near the target while still allowing coverage to eradicate the tumor. There are many ways to deliver IMRT. Our facility, for the most part, relies on the Tomotherapy unit for this type of delivery.
Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
Image guided radiation therapy, or IGRT, has the ability to better deliver the radiation to the cancer since tumors can move between treatments due to differences in organ shapes. IGRT involves treatment guided by imaging, such as CT, taken in the treatment room just before the patient receives the radiation treatment.
At our institution, we currently utilize Tomotherapy for IGRT, which obtains a daily reference CT scan – which the treatment team examines to see if the treatment needs to be adjusted or the treatment fields need to be shifted on a daily basis. This allows doctors to confidently target the tumor and minimize side effects due to the ability to use small margins when planning the radiation treatment.