Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) is
a technique that allows for radiation doses to be delivered to very complex
shapes or to tumors with nearby normal structures. The best results with
IMRT have been obtained in prostate cancer and head & neck cancers. IMRT
has great potential to improve local control in mesothelioma, especially
since there is now data from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to
suggest that "conventional" radiation techniques
can reduce local recurrence by about 50%
High doses of radiation have been proven to kill cancer cells and to shrink tumors. IMRT uses x-rays of varying intensities along with computer generated images to plan and deliver highly targeted radiation directly to cancer cells while significantly reducing the amount of radiation to surrounding healthy tissue. This technique is the most precise form of radiation therapy available today, and can increase the rate of tumor control by conforming to the shape of the tumor while minimizing adverse side effects. Because of its extreme accuracy, tumors which were formerly considered untreatable because of their proximity to vital organs can now be controlled.
Further description of IMRT.
Interview with Dr. Smythe and Dr. Stevens, pioneers in treating mesothelioma with this technique.
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