State-of-the-art Linear Accelerators
TRO affiliated centers are home to the most modern linear accelerator technology. Like most technology, the technology to deliver radiation safely and effectively continues to evolve and improve. Today’s linear accelerators, the machines that produce high-powered x-rays for the treatment of cancer, are extremely complex. A linear accelerator produces x-ray beams of different strengths or energies. As a result, the radiation oncologist has the flexibility to design a highly specific treatment plan for each patient’s unique situation. Linear accelerators also have the ability to shape the radiation beam to conform to the shape of the cancer while excluding normal healthy organs from the path of the radiation. The beam shaping device, known as the multi-leaf collimator, is integral the radiation therapy technique, Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT).
CT-based Treatment Planning
TRO affiliated centers boast the best in radiation therapy treatment planning systems, which allow the radiation oncologist to customize a specific treatment plan for each individual patient. With the help of CT imaging and sophisticated software, the radiation oncologist views the tumor and radiation dose in 3-dimensions. Such technology maximizes the cancer-killing radiation to the cancer while minimizing radiation to other areas of the body. CT-based treatment planning is essential toward the goal of cure while minimizing side effects as much as possible.
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
IMRT is an external beam treatment technique that allows the radiation oncologist to completely customize the radiation treatment plan to each individual patient. With the aid of sophisticated IMRT treatment planning software, the radiation oncologist specifies the radiation dose to the cancer and simultaneously set limits on the dose to the healthy organs. The result is an IMRT treatment plan that carefully paints the cancer with a high dose of radiation, which results in a highly effective and precise way to kill cancer.
Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
Since it is critical that the cancer receives the intended dose of radiation for the treatment to be effective, accuracy prior treatment delivery is the basis behind Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT). With IGRT technology, daily images, or snap shots, of the cancer while the patient is in the treatment position assess the exact location of the cancer from one treatment to the next. IGRT also detects daily variation in patient positioning on the treatment table. If the daily snap shot does not match the original treatment plan, the patient is moved into the exact position just moments before treatment delivery. As a result, IGRT technology ensures that radiation therapy is given with utmost precision.