Intensity modulated radiation therapy
Intensity modulated radiation therapy shapes a treatment beam to fit the contours of its cancerous target. With computerized “sculpting,” high radiation doses can be delivered to a tumor while sparing normal surrounding tissue and organs.
Gundersen is one of a handful of facilities in the country with highly sophisticated treatment planning software from ADAC Laboratories. We use IMRT for prostate cancer and in other situations where it’s critical to avoid nearby organs. Some cancers we couldn’t have treated before are now eligible for radiation therapy, thanks to this method.
IMRT delivers more radiation in less time with the least possible spillover into normal anatomic structures. This minimizes side effects and means healthy tissue is less likely to be scarred or injured.
Behind-the-scenes preparation for IMRT is labor intensive, but each patient’s treatment time is still similar to standard radiation therapy. The reduced toxicity and improved cure rates are well worth the extra hours up front.