Precision dosage spares healthy tissue
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy, or IMRT, uses sophisticated imaging and software to identify the exact size, shape and location of a tumor and to deliver a precise dose of radiation that conforms to the tumor and leaves surrounding tissue intact. This method may be used to target specific areas within a tumor as well.
One advantage of IMRT is having the ability to control the intensity and shape of the photon and proton beams radiating the tumor. Not only does this allow for greater precision but it also minimizes side effects for the patient.
IMRT is a complex treatment that may take more per-treatment time than conventional therapy. It is primarily used in head, neck and prostate cancers, as well as cancers of the central nervous system. It has applications for other types of cancer as well and is sometimes used to treat non-malignant tumors. Not everyone is a candidate for IMRT. Talk with your doctor to determine the different treatment options for your type of cancer and see if IMRT is right for you.