3D Conformal Radiation Therapy Three-dimensional (3D) conformal radiation therapy is a technique where the beams of radiation are shaped to match the shape of the tumor. This exact targeting makes it possible to use higher levels of radiation in treatment which are more effective in shrinking tumors. Previously, radiation treatment matched the height and width of the tumor, meaning that healthy tissue was exposed to the beams. Advances in imaging technology have made it possible to locate and treat the tumor more precisely.
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) Intensity-modulated radiation therapy varies the intensity of the radiation and uses specialized devices within the treatment machine to shape or "sculpt" the edges of a tumor, while minimizing the damage to adjacent healthy tissue. Tumors are irregularly shaped, and IMRT delivers multiple radiation beams that conform to the shape of the tumor which dramatically increases the dose that can be delivered to the tumor.
Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT) During VMAT treatment, the radiation machine rotates around the patient in single or a series of arcs delivering focused beams of radiation to the cancer. It benefits the patients by significantly reducing treatment time, increasing accuracy and sparing healthy tissue. The shape and intensity of the radiation beams change as the machine rotates. These features allow the beam of radiation to come from an infinite number of angles. The arc-based delivery allows for treatment to tumors that are adjacent to critical structures in the body, such as a tumor that may be wrapped around an organ.
Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy or Stereotactic Radiosurgery (brain) This is a non-invasive specialized type of external beam radiation therapy that uses focused radiation beams that target a well-defined tumor. It relys on detailed imaging, computerized three-dimensional treatment planning and precise treatment set-up to deliver the radiation dose with pinpoint accuracy (stereotactically). This technique is best suited for small tumors. The treatment can be completed in one to five days rather than over several weeks like traditional treatments. Customized immobilization is used to keep the body perfectly still during treatment so the radiation can safely be delivered with extreme accuracy, minimizing the effect on nearby organs.
4-Dimensional Targeting This is one of the latest advances available in radiation oncology. 4-D targets tumors that move with breathing, and allows for tracking of the tumor's motion during “real time”, thus improving the precision of treatment.
When treating cancer, technology can be important, but equally important is the care you receive during the treatment. The Hope Cancer Care Center personnel guide each patient through this journey by giving emotional support every step of the way. Individualized, compassionate care is offered by a dedicated and experienced team.