IGRT/IMRT Precision Radiation Therapy is one of the ways to deliver and target radiation into the body. As with other modalities, radiation delivery techniques give the Radiation Oncologist more choices for how to best target and treat the cancer. Depending on the type and stage of the cancer, one or more methods may be used to maximize tumor reduction and minimize damage to your normal healthy tissue.
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) involves the use of multiple high-energy x-ray beams to target your tumor. The radiation beams are calculated in advance as part of your specific treatment plan to deliver precise radiation while minimizing the dose to the healthy surrounding tissues. The strength of the beams can be adjusted as necessary depending on the size, location and stage of the cancer.
Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) is a radiation treatment supported by enhanced graphic targeting. By targeting the treatment area using 2 and 3-D imagery, we can achieve better patient outcomes with fewer side effects. This is particularly useful when addressing prostate, breast, lung, spine, head/neck cancers and other sites in the body. The clinician can retarget the treatment area daily to compensate for any movement of internal organs and also to adjust for the change in size and shape of the cancer.
Three-Dimensional Conformal Radiotherapy (3DCRT) is a complex process used to treat tumors that in the past might have been considered too close to vital organs and structures for radiation therapy. 3DCRT begins with a "virtual simulation" in which computed tomography (CT) scans of the region of interest are obtained. The CT simulation creates a permanent digital file that can be accessed by the entire treatment planning group to develop multiple, individualized courses of therapy. These data sets are then used to generate 3D computer images and to develop complex plans to deliver highly "conformed" (or focused) radiation while sparing healthy adjacent tissue. Because higher doses of radiation can be delivered to cancer cells while significantly reducing the amount of radiation received by surrounding healthy tissues, the technique should increase the rate of tumor control while decreasing side effects.
In Conventional Radiation Therapy, radiation beams in the form of X-rays, gamma rays or photons are used to kill tumour cells or interfere with their ability to grow.
Stereotactic Radiation Therapy is a specialised treatment that relies on detailed imaging, computerised 3D treatment planning and precise treatment set-up to deliver radiation doses stereotactically, or with extreme accuracy.
Radiosurgery is a non-invasive treatment that delivers tightly focused beams of radiation from multiple directions. The beams converge at the tumour site, delivering a strong dose of radiation while the surrounding healthy issue is exposed to a much smaller level of radiation.
Brachytherapy and Implants is where radioactive sources are implanted directly into or adjacent to the tumour site to enable the delivery of high doses of radiation with minimal impact on the surrounding tissue.
Oncology Physical Therapy can help manage the rehabilitative needs of patients resulting from the treatment of post-operative and active cancer disease. Physical therapy goals typically include improving range of motion after surgery, generalized strengthening, core strengthening, lympedema education, improving cardiovascular function, and decreasing pain. This therapy can include massage, bandaging, and exercises and is an important part of the integrated radiation oncology services provided at KIMS.