Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy

What is IMRT?

IMRT is an advanced form of external beam radiation therapy in which beams of radiation are conformed to the exact 3D shape of a tumor. Each beam is divided into hundreds of smaller beams, each with their own intensity levels, making IMRT a much more precise way of delivering radiation than conventional therapy. It also minimizes damage to surrounding healthy tissue.

How is IMRT given?

Prior to undergoing IMRT, you will have a CT scan or an MRI to map out your tumor. These 3D images will help your treatment team locate the tumor and define its exact size and shape. A linear accelerator (a machine that uses x-rays to target tumors) then rotates around your body, delivering precise beams of high-dose radiation to the tumor from different angles.

Who should consider IMRT?

Because of its precision, IMRT is an effective treatment for patients with irregularly shaped tumors or tumors that are located near vital organs. It is commonly used to treat cancers of the lung, prostate, breast, head and neck, brain, bone and spinal cord, among others.