IMRT/IGRT

What's the dfference

IMRT.

IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy) was conceived of in the early 1990’s. Medicare approved its use in 2000 for hospitals and 2001 for private cancer centers. IMRT uses high tech computers that perform billions of calculations a second to calculate different intensity beamlets across a field. This allows the doctors to destroy cancerous tissue while sparing adjacent healthy tissue.

The results are spectacular. IMRT is indicated for use in Breast, Prostate and most other common cancers. Because of the high accuracy, IMRT can be used when all other means fail. Historically, if a patient has had chemotherapy and radiation therapy yet the cancer keeps recurring, they were sent home to die. IMRT allows us to re-treat areas that were previously considered untreatable, allowing Radiation Oncologists options that just weren’t previously available. It can also be used to save salivary function and hence taste when treating head and neck cancers.

IGRT.

IGRT (Image Guided Radiation Therapy) is simply the ability to image the treatment area and adjust the treatment area on a daily basis prior to treatment. This allows the treatments to account for organ motion.

There are two main types of systems used for imaging. There's an X-ray (now performed using an electronic "plate" rather than film The second methid is referred to as a Tomoographic image. Tomopgraphic refers to taking "sections" through the body. These are gathered using the electronic flat plate while it rotates around the body. The resulting image is a CT style image.

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Copyright ŠTampa Bay Oncolocy Center Inc., 2012