What is image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT)?
IGRT is a set of tools that include imaging technology (such as MRI and CT scans) and computer mapping programs. Doctors use these tools to track a tumor’s location and the way the tumor moves in your body, such as when you breathe.
Knowing the precise location of cancer cells in your body increases treatment accuracy. We can deliver powerful doses of radiation directly to a tumor while protecting nearby healthy tissues.
Doctors may use IGRT before or during a radiation therapy treatment session. IGRT can increase radiation therapy’s effectiveness. It may mean you experience fewer side effects after treatment.
Why choose us for IGRT?
Highlights of our program include:
- Focused training: Each of our radiation oncologists focuses on treating certain types of cancers. They have completed intensive fellowship training and provide a high degree of expertise and safety.
- Innovative techniques: Our doctors use specialized techniques to improve radiation treatment’s accuracy and effectiveness. For example, using deep inspiration breath hold, we can deliver radiation to left-sided breast cancer tumors while protecting the heart.
- Commitment to excellence: As an academic medical center, we pursue new tools and treatments that may destroy cancer more effectively. Participating in wide-ranging research studies enables us to gain experience with treatment innovations before they’re widely available.
IGRT: What to expect
There are many types of IGRT. We use IGRT to treat nearly all types of cancer. The specific tools your doctor uses in your care will depend on several factors. We consider the cancer’s location and the type of radiation therapy you need.
IGRT uses detailed images and high-tech computer programs to account for minuscule movements (like when you breathe). This extra layer of precision enables us to direct radiation beams to hit cancer cells, sparing healthy tissues.
Our experts use some of the most advanced IGRT methods available today, including deep inspiration breath hold (DIBH) for left-sided breast cancer.
When you inhale, your diaphragm (a muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen) flattens, moving the heart away from the breast. DIBH delivers the treatment after you take a deep breath, limiting radiation exposure to the heart.
Cancers we treat with IGRT
Our experienced radiation oncologists use IGRT to treat many types of cancer, including: