IMRT : Better and Safer
IMRT means Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy. It is an advanced technique of radiotherapy treatment, which is better and safer than conventional radiotherapy. It is available at KCC Cancer Center. This center is the first private cancer hospital in Nepal to provide this treatment.
IMRT is based on the fact that not all organs around the tumor need the same dose of radiation.
Multiple research have shown that IMRT leads to safer treatment and clinically proven better resultshttps://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2017/07/31/imrt-bending-radiotherapy-beams-to-spare-healthy-cells/
What is the Difference ?
In old-generation Radiotherapy (2D/3D), the radiation dose is in equal intensity all over. Although the tumor isn’t missed, but it overdoses the organs around it – which is just a ‘collateral damage’. IMRT if used properly , easily minimizes the unwanted tissue damage by ‘modulating’ the radiation at different intensity for different targets.
In IMRT, dose of radiation for different volumes around the tumor is at different intensity. The tumor receives the desired dose of radiation. The organs near it, which do not have a tumor, receive very minimum dose of radiation. this ‘organ sparing’ pays back – the patients have minimal side effects and the tumor control is better.
Let’s discuss a scenario. This gentleman presented with a tumor just below his brain (nasopharynx), and had lymphnodes in his neck. These structures are very close of vital structures like eyes, brain, spinal cord and parotid glands.
IMRT helps us save the brain and other important organs from radiation without compromising the dose on the tumor.
Radiation Oncologists work together with radiation physicists to design radiotherapy plans.Each volume is drawn with the help of special software and treatment is planned. We use MIM Software’s radiation oncology solution for drawing contour of tumor and other organs, fusion of CT,MRI and PET Images as well as other clinical and research work.
It usually takes a few days after radiotherapy planning to start the treatment. Each treatment sessions take a few minutes only. Usually, sessions are 5 days a week, for 5 to 7 weeks. The duration depends on the cancer type and organ involved.
In conclusion, IMRT is the newer radiation technique, which is better and safe. We at KCC Cancer Hospital have been doing IMRT regularly.