Intensity-modulated radiation therapy
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is a state of art radiation therapy which uses advanced software to plan a precise dose of radiation to treat cancerous and non-cancerous tumors. IMRT uses advanced technology to manipulate photon and proton beams of radiation to match the 3D geometrical shape of the tumor, including concave and complex shapes.
Using IMRT, radiation oncologists can vary the intensity of radiation beams accurately across the treatment area. This reduces exposure to healthy tissues while allowing oncologists to deliver higher radiation doses than traditional radiation therapy.
Because of its higher degree of accuracy, IMRT may be a treatment option for patients who have reached the maximum allowable dose of conventional radiation therapy and have a recurrent tumor in the treated area.
Most IMRT Sessions take between 10 to 30 minutes during which firstly, an imaging test called a CT scan is done to map the tumor in 3-D and then advanced computer programs are used to calculate and deliver radiation directly to the tumor from different angles.
IMRT requires multiple sessions which the doctor decides based on a number of factors, including the type of cancer, size and location of the tumor.
IMRT is most often used to treat brain cancer, head and neck cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, gastrointestinal cancers, uterine/cervical cancer and breast cancer because these tumors are usually located close to critical organs and tissues in the body.