Image-guided radiation therapy [IGRT] utilises advanced imaging equipment and computer software to accurately target tumours.
By using advanced medical imaging equipment to capture the tumour before and during the radiotherapy treatment, the ability to precisely target a tumour with radiation beams is increased. IGRT also allows for an individualised treatment which allows your doctor to customise the treatment to your needs.
The comparison of the captured images with reference images taken during simulation allows the adjustment of the radiation beam to target the tumours with increased precision and accuracy, reducing margins for error. IGRT will effectively minimise unwanted effects on the surrounding healthy tissues.
IGRT is very useful in cancers where tumours are located close to sensitive organs or areas which will move with respiration, such as Head and Neck cancers, Abdominal cancers, pelvic cancers and Lung cancers. Compared to conventional external beam radiotherapy which treats the generic area where the tumour is located, IGRT is able to locate the tumour and effectively target the tumour with the high-powered radiation beam.
Because of the increased precision, high-powered radiation beams can be narrowly focused on the tumour. This maximises the effectiveness of the treatment, achieving increased tumour control and minimising any side effects which allows early resumption of normal activities.
Brachytherapy is a special form of internal radiation therapy where a radioactive source is placed close to or inside the tumour.
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