What is IGRT?
Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) is the most advanced technology to track cancer and normal tissues. IGRT decreases radiation dose to normal tissue, decreases side effects and improves outcomes. This advanced technology allows radiation to be delivered to tumors with more precision than was traditionally possible.
How does IGRT work?
Before the radiation beam is turned on, our physician's use Image Guidance technology to provide precise and exact information on the specific location of any soft-tissue or bony target. The ability to define a more precise location of the tumor means a smaller radiation field can be used, so there is less radiation damage done to normal tissue.
What types of cancers are treated with IGRT?
Most cancers will benefit from treatments that are more accurate and precise. Tumors of the prostate, brain and head and neck region are treated using IGRT to ensure that delicate tissues such as the rectum, urethra, spinal cord and salivary glands remain away from the higher dose of radiation that is delivered to the tumor.
How does IGRT help in the treatment of prostate cancer?
When treating prostate cancer with IGRT, we see significant benefits. As the bladder fills and empties, the prostate moves, sometimes significantly. This means that the prostate will be in different positions for each day of radiation treatment. Our physicians use IGRT before the treatment is given to ensure a more precise delivery of radiation.
What about IGRT for Lung or Breast Cancer?
Lung and breast cancers will benefit from IGRT and other technologies such as Respiratory Gating and IMRT by taking breathing motion into consideration, and decreasing radiation doses to the lungs and heart. It has been shown that unnecessary radiation to these organs can create significant problems after treatment, such as secondary cancers.