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Image Guided Radiotherapy

Image Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT) goes a step further than IMRT by using digital imaging techniques to track the exact position of the tumor before each radiation treatment. This technique is highly beneficial since tumors are not stationary, and tend to shift between radiation appointments. IMRT allows for doses with a higher concentration of radiation to be administered, because the beams can conform more precisely to the three-dimensional shape of the tumor.

The equipment takes images of the tumor immediately before or even during the time radiation is delivered, while the patient is positioned on the treatment table. Using specialized computer software, these images are then compared to the images taken during simulation. Any necessary adjustments are then made to the patient's position and/or radiation beams in order to more precisely target radiation at the tumor.

Because this method is so precise, the surrounding healthy tissue is not as affected by the radiation. Better overall tumor control means that side effects from radiation therapy are reduced. Because of IGRT’s advanced motion management technique, a patient is now able to breathe normally during radiation treatments, something that was not an option with traditional radiation methods. Because of this, IGRT is used to treat tumors in areas of the body that are prone to movement, such as the lungs (affected by breathing), liver and prostate, as well tumors located close to critical organs and tissues.

To learn more about radiation oncology at Scottsdale Healthcare, please contact our Cancer Care Coordinators by calling 480-323-1255 (toll free 1-877-273-3639) or emailing