Image-Guided Radiation Therapy combines imaging, such as CT scans, with radiation therapy during each treatment session. This allows your radiation therapy treatment team to confirm and track movement of the tumor at the time of treatment and make fine adjustments to your position — increasing the precision of your therapy and minimizing the risk of side effects.
How Does Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) Work?
The primary goal of all radiation therapy is to deliver the highest, most effective dosage of radiation possible with minimal risk to surrounding healthy tissue. This requires pinpoint accuracy. Image-Guided Radiation Therapy provides increased accuracy by giving the treatment team the ability to confirm the tumor's location at the start of each treatment session.
Before IGRT treatments begin, a simulation using a three dimensional CT, MRI or PET/CT scan will provide the Radiation Therapy Services at Central Massachusetts Cancer Center team with initial imaging to view the internal organs and the tumor. This imaging will be used by your Radiation Oncologist to determine your treatment plan.
During each subsequent Image Guided Radiation Therapy treatment session, your Radiation Therapy Services at Central Massachusetts Cancer Center team will take a new image and compare it to the imaging taken during your simulation to confirm that you are in the correct position and determine if and how the tumor has shifted. You will then be adjusted on the table accordingly, so that the tumor is in exactly the right location and the radiation is precisely targeting the tumor according to your treatment plan.
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