Precise radiation delivery to reach tumors accurately
Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is a state-of-the-art radiation delivery system that has been called the most significant breakthrough in cancer treatments in the past 30 years.
Our radiation oncologists at Goshen Center for Cancer Care use IMRT to treat difficult-to-reach tumors with high levels of accuracy. Plus, this leading-edge technology can deliver radiation doses up to 40 percent higher than traditional radiation methods would allow in these areas, while sparing 70 percent more of the surrounding healthy tissue.
We also use IMRT to treat patients who have had previous conventional radiation therapy, yet experience recurrent tumors in the treated area.
Benefits of IMRT
- Targets tumor precisely and modulates intensity of pencil-thin beams with laser accuracy
- Minimizes radiation to healthy, sensitive tissue and organs
- Requires fewer treatment visits due to precise, larger doses
- Improves patient outcomes due to accuracy
- Treats tumors that were once untreatable because of location or previous radiation treatments
How IMRT works
Our dosimetrists, experts in radiation treatment planning, use sophisticated computer software, a special high-speed computer, diagnostic imaging and patient-positioning devices to plan and implement a precise dose of radiation in three dimensions, based on individual tumor size, shape and location. To plan a treatment, 3-D images of a patient’s tumor are used in conjunction with computerized dose calculations to determine a radiation intensity pattern that will best conform to the tumor shape. IMRT then directs narrow beams of radiation at the tumor, varying the shape and intensity of the beams hundreds of times to different parts of the tumor, making it one of the most precise forms of external beam radiation therapy available. As a result, an increased dose of radiation can be delivered to the tumor using IMRT, while sparing nearby healthy organs and tissues.
Unlike traditional radiation therapy, this advanced type of treatment attacks the tumor from 360 degrees, instead of just a half-dozen angles. Plus, the high radiation dose is sculpted to fit the exact shape of the patient’s tumor, treating both large tumors and multiple sites. For some patients, IMRT replaces external beam treatments. However, in most cases, it is used in conjunction with or after another primary treatment. The common course of IMRT treatment is five days a week for six weeks.
A form of IMRT, stereotactic radiosurgery is most commonly used to treat cancer that has spread to the brain. It involves holding the head in an immobilization device to prevent any movement while the machine delivers radiation precisely to the tumor. Because only a single treatment is given, it is called radiosurgery. However, when multiple treatments are required, it is called stereotactic radiotherapy. This treatment often goes by the names of the machines used to give it, such as Gamma Knife™ Novalis Tx™ and CyberKnife™. One form, called extra-cranial stereotactic radiosurgery, can be used to treat early-stage lung cancer.
To find out more, talk with our cancer experts at Goshen Center for Cancer Care, (888) 492-HOPE.