Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) is an advanced form of patient positioning. Gundersen’s Radiation Oncology department implemented on-line IGRT when stereotactic radiosurgery was first offered in 2005. This sophisticated guidance system is on both of the linear accelerators in Western Wisconsin’s first and best-equipped radiation therapy facility. When a high-dose radioactive beam must focus on small tumors or portions of organs to minimize effects on nearby healthy tissue, accurate positioning is particularly critical.
For example, to treat an area as small as 5mm in diameter, patients can be aligned for IGRT with the aid of stereoscopic x-rays, computer software and a “robotic couch” that makes tiny shifts to correct beam angles. IGRT technology also enables radiation therapists to return patients to customized, precise positions for repeated treatments over periods of days, weeks or months.
Gundersen is one of a handful of centers in the United States offering this technology.