External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT) delivers radiation from outside the body with a machine called a linear accelerator. External Beam Radiation Therapy can be used as the only modality of treatment or in combination with chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or hormonal therapy, and can also be used prior to or following surgery, depending on the diagnosis and stage of disease. Although there can be side effects that develop gradually, the treatment itself is painless and relatively rapid.
Today’s linear accelerators are highly technical and involve computerized input and verification parameters to make treatments as accurate as possible.
Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) is one of the most technologically advanced treatment methods available. IMRT allows very precise external beam radiotherapy treatments. Rather than having a single large radiation beam pass through the body, with IMRT the radiation is effectively broken up into thousands of thin radiation beams, providing accuracy so that all beams intersect on the cancer, which minimizes harm to surrounding tissues.
Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) allows localization of the target within the patient immediately before each treatment is administered in order to make delivery of the treatment as accurate as possible. This helps to minimize the risk of delivering too much radiation to surrounding healthy tissues.
3-D Conformal Radiation Therapy (3D-CRT)
3-D Conformal Radiation Therapy uses planning with CT, MRI, and/or PET images to deliver treatment to the tumor, usually from multiple directions through shaped fields. The beam characteristics do not continuously change as with IMRT.
ROA stepped into the newest dimension of high technology in 2009 by adding Respiratory Gated Radiation Therapy to the services provided in our treatment centers. Respiratory gating enables the physician to plan the patient’s treatment in four dimensions by acquiring 4D Computer Tomography (CT) images while the patient is “coached on breathing”. The patient’s tumor movement during the breathing process is captured via the CT images and sent to the treatment planning system. This advanced imaging technique enables the physician along with his or her trained physicist and dosimetrists to create a treatment plan which is synchronized with the patient’s breathing cycle.
- Radiation beams delivered from outside the body destroy cancerous cells and shrink tumors
- Revolutionary advancements in radiation therapy adjust the intensity and shape of radiation beams and deliver powerful tumor-destroying radiation with remarkable precision and speed
- Image guidance lets your treatment team visualize the tumor's position before and during treatment sessions to maximize effectiveness and minimize side effects
- Treatments are typically painless and you can return to normal activity right away