What is image-guided radiation therapy?
Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) uses different types of imaging to track the position of your body before and during treatment. This increases the accuracy of your radiation treatment. We also use imaging to adapt your treatment over time, such as if your:
- Tumor changes in shape or size
- Internal organs shift or change position, such as if you gain or lose weight
Why use IGRT?
IGRT helps us to:
- Target the radiation as precisely as possible within your body
- Minimize radiation exposure to your healthy tissue
We use different types of imaging because each case is unique. Sometimes we combine imaging in real time with treatment. Other times we may only use it at the beginning of a session. For most cases, we use X-ray or computed tomography (CT). In some cases, we use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which helps us visualize soft tissue in great detail. That makes it ideal for imaging the abdomen.
What type of technology does IGRT use?
We have several technologies for IGRT:
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided radiation therapy uses an MRI (the MRIdian ViewRay) to combine imaging of internal soft tissues with radiation delivery in real time.
- Surface-guided radiation therapy uses cameras to synchronize 3D imaging of the skin near your treatment target area with radiation delivery in real time.
- Orthogonal KV imaging combines X-rays taken from multiple angles to triangulate the location of the target area before your treatment session
- Cone-beam CT scan uses a fast, low-resolution scan to double-check your alignment and internal anatomy with your treatment plan. If necessary, we can adjust your position for accurate, precise delivery of your radiation therapy.
What conditions are treated using IGRT?
We incorporate some form of IGRT into every radiotherapy treatment plan.