What is Radiation Therapy?

 

Radiotherapy can prolong survival, contribute to the preservation of organs affected by malignancy, provide relief from pain and improve patients’ quality of life.

Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to shrink tumors and kill cancer cells. X-rays, gamma rays, and charged particles are types of radiation used for cancer treatment. Find out more from the National Cancer Institute click here.

At the Mid North Coast Cancer Institute (MNCCI) we offer a comprehensive range of radiation therapy treatment and image techniques. Along with conventional techniques such as 3-Dimension Conformal Radiation Therapy (3D-CRT) and Superficial Radiotherapy, we also offer a range of modern techniques that include Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT), Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT), Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT) and Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT).

Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)

IMRT uses advanced technology to manipulate beams of radiation to conform to the shape of a tumour. The radiation intensity of each beam is controlled and the beam shape changes throughout each treatment. The goal of IMRT is to bend the radiation dose to avoid or reduce exposure of healthy tissue and limit the side effects of treatment.

Volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT)

VMAT delivers radiation by rotating the linear accelerator through one or more arcs with the radiation continuously on. Highly conformal dose distributions are achieved by enabling small beams with varying intensity to be aimed at the tumour. VMAT allows for a high dose to be delivered to the tumour whilst minimising dose to surround healthy tissue.

Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT)

SBRT also called stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR), is a type of radiation therapy in which a few very high doses of radiation are delivered to small, well-defined tumors. The goal is to deliver a radiation dose that is high enough to kill the cancer while minimizing exposure to surrounding healthy organs.

Image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT)

IGRT uses a variety of imaging techniques such as X-rays and CT scans, to guide the daily radiation treatment. Imaging enables the position of the patient and the tumour to be tracked and confirmed so that the radiation beam can be targeted more precisely.