Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) uses high-resolution, 3-dimensional images to pinpoint tumor sites, adjust patient positioning for maximum accuracy and deliver radiation therapy. These capabilities take IMRT and Stereotactic IMRT technologies one step further with advanced imaging for greater precision and efficiency.
Like IMRT, advanced digital imaging scans are completed in advance to determine the extent of disease and localize the target tumor. The scans are assessed and integrated into a treatment-planning computer for each individual patient. With image-controlled simulation, the treatment targeting process is more accurate and efficient. Knowing exactly where the tumor is allows us to reduce the volume of tissue treated, targeting only the tumor and sparing the surrounding normal tissue. Irradiating less normal tissue reduces the side effects, which improves quality of life. In some cases, improved targeting may make it possible to deliver higher radiation doses to the tumor and thereby increase the likelihood of local tumor control.
Like IMRT, IGRT imparts a high dose of radiation to a localized tumor from multiple angles rather than a single beam. Thousands of very fine radiation beams of varying intensity surround the cancer cells while preserving the surrounding healthy tissue. There are no radioactive substances used. IGRT applies a smaller dose of radiation to normal tissues and the result is that side effects are decreased, and the probability of eradicating the tumor is improved. State-of-the-art motion management techniques allow patients to breathe naturally during treatment sessions, increasing treatment accuracy, reducing stress and increasing patient comfort.
IGRT is ideal therapy for cancers of the lung, prostate, brain, breast, oral cavity, tongue and larynx.
This treatment is highly customized to each patient. Treatment can take from five to 15 minutes, five days a week for six or seven weeks. Generally, a patient’s daily activity is not altered other than the need for daily therapy.