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FAQs: Respiratory Gating

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What is respiratory gating?

Respiratory gating is the process of turning the radiation beam on and off based on your breathing cycle. Some aggressive cancers such as lung tumors may require higher radiation doses for better control. Higher radiation doses can only be delivered if the dose to normal tissues can be kept to safe levels.

How does respiratory gating work?

When you breathe, your internal organs move by as much as several centimeters, causing cancer cells to move in and out of the radiation treatment field. Computer-guided imaging, simulation and planning allow your physician to pinpoint the tumor, establish treatment objectives and review many treatment options to determine the optimal arrangement and dose of radiation beams. Using respiratory gating, your radiation treatment is synchronized to your individual breathing pattern, targeting the tumor only when it is in the optimum range. This provides the security of protecting healthy structures while targeting the tumor with significantly higher doses of radiation. High doses of radiation ensure the best outcomes: greater control, tumor reduction, and potential cure.

What types of cancer is respiratory gating used to treat?

Respiratory gating is used to treat lung, liver, pancreatic and stomach cancers.