Image-guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
Image-guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) is the use of imaging to ensure that the radiation treatments target the tumor and the at-risk tissues. Using IGRT guarantees that our doctors hit the target every time. Our department currently has two imaging systems to support our IGRT programs―conebeam CT, a rapid limited CT scan performed prior to each daily radiation dose on the Varian Synergy, and Exactrac (see above), which guides radiosurgery on our Novalis Tx. IGRT is used routinely to treat prostate cancer. Here small marker seeds are placed into the prostate. The prostate and the marker seeds are detected on a daily basis before each treatment by our conebeam CT, and the radiation dose is then delivered directly to the prostate. This technology enables us to shrink our margins and reduce possible side effects by allowing us to spare the bladder and rectum. IGRT is also used to treat lung cancer, brain radiosurgery, and other applications where a high degree of spatial accuracy is needed.