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Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)

Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) combines real-time imaging with radiation therapy during each treatment session. A CT scan or X-ray images are taken with the linear accelerator and compared with the original simulation images developed on your planning day. Your body is then moved into position to exactly match simulation position. This allows your radiation therapy treatment team to confirm and track movement of the tumor at the time of treatment and make fine adjustments to your position — increasing the precision of your therapy and minimizing the risk of side effects.

How It Works

The primary goal of all radiation therapy is to deliver the highest, most effective radiation dose possible to the tumor with minimal risk to surrounding healthy tissue. This requires pinpoint accuracy. IGRT provides increased accuracy by giving the treatment team the ability to confirm the tumor's location to within one millimeter at the start of each treatment session.

Treatment Process

Before IGRT treatments begin, a simulation using a three dimensional CT, MRI or PET/CT scan will provide the radiation therapy team with initial imaging to view the internal organs and the tumor. This imaging will be used by your radiation oncologist to determine your treatment plan.

During each subsequent IGRT treatment session, your radiation therapy team will take a new image and compare it to the imaging taken during your simulation to confirm that you are in the correct position and determine if and how the tumor has shifted. You will then be adjusted on the table accordingly, so that the tumor is in exactly the right location and the radiation is precisely targeting the tumor according to your treatment plan.

Benefits

  • More precise radiation doses can safely be delivered to tumors with fewer side effects
  • Reduced treatment toxicity

Types of Cancer Treated with IGRT

IGRT may be used to treat many areas including:

The Cancer Center operates in partnership with Upstate Cancer Center.