Martin-O'Neil Cancer Center
IMRT, (intensity-modulated radiation therapy), and IGRT, (image-guided radiotherapy)
The tools available are the key to effective treatment planning. Using the Varian Clinac IX linear accelerator, MOCC's radiation oncologists have all of the most modern tools available anywhere. Three techniques called IMRT, IGRT, and Calypso are implemented here.
IMRT is short for Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy. This approach allows the intensity of radiation to be changed during treatment to save nearby, normal tissue. Traditional, conventional radiation therapy cannot do this. Using IMRT, an increased dose of radiation can be delivered to a tumor. IMRT also allows a beam of radiation to be shaped (conformal radiation), closely matching the shape of a tumor. This improves the sparing of healthy, normal tissue that is near the tumor.
IGRT stands for Image Guided Radiation Therapy and allows radiation oncologist to guide a beam of radiation directly to a tumor by imaging that tumor before treatment with a CT scanner that is incorporated in the linear accelerator and with kilovoltage imaging. Medical research has proven that this tool is critical because many tumors move around inside the human body, and it is critical to know exactly where a tumor is before and during treatment. Otherwise, healthy tissue might be damaged and a cancerous tumor might not be completely irradiated.