Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) is the most technologically advanced, most precise method of external beam radiation therapy available.
lmage Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) takes this technology one step further. lt delivers high doses of radiation dírectly to the tumor while sparing surrounding healthy tissue.
How Radiation Therapy Works
Radiation therapy is a treatment technique for cancer in which radiation (a stream of energy carried by waves or particles) is administered to the tumor site. Radiation therapy works by damaging or destroying cells that are actively reproducing. Tumor cells reproduce more quickly and more often than normal cells and are therefore more likely to be affected by the radiation. Normal cells that are reproducing at the time of treatment may also be affected by the radiation therapy, possibly leading to side effects. Unlike tumor cells, however, most normal cells can recover with little to no permanent damage.
The Clinac iX™
The Clinac iX™, with its On-Board lmager™ device, is visually compelling. Housed in a treatment vault visible through closed-circuit television, the machine stands approximately nine feet tall and rotates 360 degrees around the patient to deliver radiation beams from almost any angle. The On-Board lmager is attached to the machine on a pair of robotic arms that extend out on either side of the patient to generate anatomical images that will guide the treatment. Sophisticated image-matching software shows patient anatomy in a futuristic control device outside the treatment room.
SmartBeam IMRT involves varying (or modulating) the intensity of the radiation (in this case, X-rays), being used as therapy for cancer. lt is a new form of radiation therapy that uses computer-generated images to plan and then deliver more tightly focused radiation beams to cancerous tumors than is possible with conventional radiotherapy. With this capability, clinicians can deliver a precise radiation dose that conforms to the shape of the tumor, while significantly reducing the amount of radiation to the surrounding healthy tissues. Consequently, the technique can increase the rate of tumor control while significantly reducing adverse side effects.