Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
See also: IMRT video
When cancer is diagnosed in a patient, Carolinas Hospital System offers a range of services to treat the disease. In addition to chemotherapy and surgery, radiation oncology services have been available at the hospital for the past 14 years. Used to treat cancers including lung, breast and prostate, radiation therapy (also known as external beam radiotherapy) is delivered on an outpatient or inpatient basis using a linear accelerator. Directed at specified areas of the body, the high energy X-rays interfere with cancer cells’ ability to multiply and make new tumor cells and kills existing cancer cells.
Carolinas Hospital has the capability to deliver radiation therapy with Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT). Using the linear accelerator and the Radiation Oncology Department’s sophisticated system of treatment planning technology; IMRT allows radiation to be directed very precisely at the tumor.
“This is the cutting edge in radiation therapy,” said Dr. Larry Grubb, medical director of the Radiation Oncology Department. Because IMRT provides oncologists increased control in shaping the radiation beams, it is an excellent tool for cancers that are located in close proximity to vital organs and structures. “It allows us to contour or shape the radiation dose very accurately to the shape of the tumor,” said Dr. Grubb. “The shaping allows us to protect more normal tissue while radiating the cancerous tissue,” he explained. The hospital is currently using IMRT primarily for prostate, other pelvic cancers and head and neck tumors.
In addition to diagnostic services, surgery and chemotherapy, Carolinas Hospital System also offers advanced technology helps us to deliver a focused radiation beam from a linear accelerator to the tumor. Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) and Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) are both available at Carolinas Hospital System (see IMRT video).
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