Image Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT) is similar to Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), but it goes a step further by using digital imaging techniques. They track the exact position of your tumor before each radiation treatment.
This technique is highly beneficial because tumors are not stationary and tend to shift between radiation appointments. IMRT allows for doses with a higher concentration of radiation to be administered because the beams can conform more precisely to the three-dimensional shape of the tumor.
The equipment takes images of the tumor immediately before or even during the time radiation is delivered, while you're positioned on the treatment table. Using specialized computer software, these images are compared to the images taken during simulation. Any necessary adjustments are then made to your position and/or radiation beams to more precisely target radiation at the tumor.
Because this method is so precise, the surrounding healthy tissue is not as affected by the radiation. Better overall tumor control means that side effects from radiation therapy are reduced. Because of IGRT's advanced motion management technique, you're able to breathe normally during radiation treatments, something that was not an option with traditional radiation methods. Because of this, IGRT is used to treat tumors in areas of the body that are prone to movement, such as the lungs (affected by breathing), liver and prostate, as well tumors located close to critical organs and tissues.
Radiation oncology services are offered at various locations throughout HonorHealth's network. To learn more or to find a location nearest you, please contact a cancer care coordinator at 480-323-1255 or 877-273-3639.