Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) for Cancer Treatment
Garnet Health is using the latest technological advancement to fight the battle against cancer. Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy or IMRT, allows doctors to more precisely tailor the treatment dose to match the target tumor, while sparing the surrounding normal tissues.
IMRT treatments are ideally suited for cancer sites where the critical normal structures are very close to the target tumors, such as:
- For head and neck cancers, very high doses can be delivered to the target areas while limiting doses to salivary glands, spinal cord and other critical tissues.
- For prostate cancers, lower doses can be given to the bladder and rectum when compared to conventional treatment techniques.
IMRT Planning and Treatment Delivery Systems
IMRT requires technologically sophisticated, computerized treatment planning and treatment delivery systems. Conventional cancer treatment planning is accomplished by manually adjusting simulated radiation beams to achieve a clinically acceptable dose distribution in an accurate computer model of the patient. With IMRT, the physician prescribes the desired dose distribution first. A complex computer program then determines the radiation beam intensities to meet the treatment objectives.
Garnet Health Medical Center uses the IMRT planning system produced by Varian Eclipse. The IMRT beams are shaped by a multileaf collimator, a computer-controlled device located in the head of the treatment machine, the linear accelerator.