Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) uses x-rays of varying intensities along with computer generated images to plan and deliver highly targeted radiation directly to cancer cells while significantly reducing the amount of radiation to surrounding healthy tissue. This technique is an extremely precise form of radiation therapy and can increase the rate of tumor control by conforming to the shape of the tumor while minimizing adverse side effects. Because of its extreme accuracy, tumors which were formerly considered untreatable because of their proximity to vital organs can now be controlled.
A computer program optimizes the treatment plan based on the physician's instructions as it relates to dose, tumor size, shape, and location. The radiation is then delivered by a machine called a linear accelerator (linac), equipped with a special device called a multileaf collimater (MLC) which shapes the radiation beam, and delivers the physician prescribed treatment plan to the patient.
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