Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
At the Foley Cancer Center, your cancer treatment may include intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) – the most advanced radiation treatment available.
What is IMRT?
IMRT is known as one of the most precise, technologically advanced method for treating many cancers including those of the prostate, head, neck and central nervous system. It delivers higher dose radiation to a tumor while limiting exposure to surrounding healthy tissue.
Unlike other IMRT machines that rotate and stop in several positions during a treatment, the RapidArc™ machine makes a continuous 360-degree rotation, confining the radiation area more precisely to the targeted tissue.
Rapid Arc™ technology is an advanced form of IMRT and may be a suggested route of care by your cancer care team.
How Does IMRT Work?
Advanced software guides IMRT to plan a precise dose of radiation based on tumor size, shape and location. A computer-controlled device delivers the doses of radiation to tumors or specific areas within the tumors.
With IMRT, radiation oncologists can adjust the intensity of radiation beams across the treatment area as needed with a higher degree of accuracy, resulting in the delivery of higher radiation without harming the surrounding normal tissue.
Who Qualifies for IMRT?
Because of this accuracy, IMRT may be a treatment option if you’ve reached the maximum allowable dose of conventional radiation therapy and have a recurrent tumor in the treated area.
IMRT Treatment Process
Intensity modulated radiation therapy is noninvasive, so there’s no pain during the procedure for most patients. If you have physical limitations, you may experience some discomfort when being positioned. There’s little noise and you won’t be confined in a small space.
Your radiation therapist will take five to 15 minutes to position you and set up equipment. After X-ray images confirm that you’re in the proper position, your treatment begins. You’ll be monitored throughout treatment from a nearby control room.
Treatment typically runs five days a week for several weeks, depending on your diagnosis and treatment plan.