Types of Radiation Therapy
The type of radiation therapy that is given to each patient is dependent on the type of cancer, its location and the purpose of the radiation treatment. Your radiation oncologist will recommend what s/he feels would be best. The following types of radiation therapy are available in the Oklahoma City area through Optim Oncology:
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy
IMRT or Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy is a type of external beam radiation therapy that targets the tumor and reduces exposure to normal tissue. IMRT uses hundreds of tiny radiation beam-shaping devices, called collimators, to deliver a dose of radiation to a specific target with a margin of a millimeter. Many times during a radiation treatment the therapists will take an image of the area to be treated, the treatment area will be aligned for the most accurate treatment, and the radiation dose will be administered.
With IMRT, the radiation oncologist is able to increase the radiation dose to the areas that need it and reduce radiation exposure to specific sensitive areas of surrounding normal tissue.
Tomotherapy is a type of image-guided IMRT. A tomotherapy machine is a hybrid between a CT imaging scanner and an external-beam radiation therapy machine. It customizes delivery for each patient, targeting the cancer with highly-precise radiation delivered from all angles. This state-of-the-art radiation therapy procedure minimizes exposure to healthy tissue by delivering radiation beams 360 degrees around the cancer patient.
Image Guided Radiation Therapy
IGRT or Image Guided Radiation Therapy is the use of CT or Computed Tomography Scan, X-ray or other imaging to localize the tumor or target area during and/or prior to treatment. These imaging scans are used to identify changes in a tumor’s size and location due to treatment and help to reposition the patient and planned dose of radiation therapy based on how the cancer has changed. Your oncologist will continuously monitor the tumor size and location during the course of treatment.
Repeated imaging can increase the radiation treatment accuracy and decrease the total radiation dose to normal tissue. IGRT is used in conjunction with IMRT for the most optimal treatment results.