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IGRT technology facilitates precision for minimal impact on healthy tissues.

Image Guided Radation Therapy, Varian True Beam at Kelsey-Seybold Cancer Center

​When radiation therapy is used to treat cancer, does the radiation damage other healthy organs?

“The techniques for delivering external beam radiation to tumor sites have significantly improved over the past few years. The use of image-guided radiation therapy enables us to pinpoint the location of tumors and more accurately direct the radiation treatment to minimize the impact on healthy tissues,” said Snehal Desai, M.D., Medical Director of Radiation Oncology at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic.

“Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) involves the use of daily imaging such as X-ray, ultrasound, or cone beam CT scan. It is used to help ensure the tumors in areas of the body that are prone to movement are in the correct location pr​ior to delivering radiation. These sites include lungs, liver and prostate gland, as well as tumors located close to critical organs and tissues,” Dr. Desai explains.

The Varian TrueBeam™ linear accelerator at the Kelsey-Seybold Cancer Center provides the ability for IGRT using imaging arms which we can use prior to treatment and during treatment.

“The TrueBeam allows for image-guided radiotherapy with precision, accuracy and safety. This sophisticated system features several technical innovations that simultaneously coordinate imaging, patient positioning, motion management and treatment delivery,” Dr. Desai says.

“At the beginning of each radiation therapy session, the patient is carefully positioned. Images are then taken using the onboard imaging of the radiation machine,” Dr. Desai continues.

The physician then reviews the images and compares them to the images previously taken during a simulation session. After any necessary adjustments are made to the patient’s positioning, radiation therapy is then delivered.

“Imaging performed prior to or during radiation therapy sessions is painless,” assures Dr. Desai, who cares for patients at the nationally-accredited Kelsey-Seybold Cancer Center.