Find More Precision in the Diagnosis of Cancer Through IGRT

Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) is a radiation therapy process that is used for frequent imaging like two and three-dimensional imaging to improve the precision and accuracy, and to reduce the exposure of healthy tissue during radiation treatment. It is performed by highly trained oncologist called radiation oncologists who are capable to deliver better radiation treatment of cancerous tumors. It is better treatment process especially when tumor moves between treatment due to difference in organ filling or movement while breathing.  This treatment process involves conformal radiation treatment guided by some specialized imaging tests, such as ultrasound imaging, combined X-ray and optical imaging, cone-beam computed tomography, electromagnetic emission detectors (calypso system).

During IGRT treatment, patient is localized in the treatment room to receive radiation therapy treatment. The 3D image-guided radiation therapy would include localization of a cone-beam computed tomography dataset with the planning CT dataset from planning. In the same way two-dimensional IGRT would include matching planer kilovotage radiographs fluoroscopy or megavoltage images with digital reconstructed radiographs (DRRs) from the planning CT. Depending on the area to be treated, normal organ movement may require daily image guidance, probably in the case of prostate treatment, frequent imaging to guide radiation to fast moving organs.  

The IGRT machines are equipped with imaging technology, so that physicians can find images of the tumors immediately before or during radiation. The full implementation of images guided will lead to the concept of adaptive radiology (ART). This therapy is probably used in conjunction with intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). In some of image-guided radiation therapy procedure, radiation markers may be placed inside the body to identify the area, because radiodense markers made of materials cannot be penetrated by X-rays.



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