How does image guided radiotherapy work?

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image guided radiotherapy

Image guided radiation treatment (IGRT), sometimes known as image guided adaptive radiation therapy or IGART, is a disease management technique. It employs sophisticated imaging equipment to monitor your cancer treatment throughout its whole.

Traditional radiation therapy begins with a diagnosis, staging, and imaging of the patient’s condition. This information is used to arrange the entire course of cancer treatment in advance.

Thanks to advancements in imaging, clinicians are now aware that your anatomy and the size and shape of the tumour might alter during radiation therapy.

As a result, they can now modify your treatment plan mid-course to accommodate these changes and determine the optimal approach for your particular situation.

Benefits of undergoing image guided radiotherapy:

Over 60 percent of cancer patients receive some sort of radiotherapy as part of their treatment. This is because radiotherapy is particularly successful at controlling many forms of cancer by destroying cancer cells’ ability to multiply.

Through more precise targeting, dosage levels can be increased and the area of treatment can be minimized – so tumours get more strong radiation while healthy surrounding tissues get relatively little.

Imaging and tracking technologies with IGRT enable the radiation oncologist to treat tumors even if they are adjacent to important structures like the spinal column, heart or lungs. This can mean much fewer side effects and a far higher quality of life.

Why is image guided radiotherapy performed?

The treatment of both carcinogenic and noncancerous tumours is known as intensity modulated radiation therapy, or IMRT for short. The radiation beams are shaped to meet the contours of the tumour. The radiation needs to be directed to specific areas in order to reduce unintended effects and protect healthy tissue.

What is the radiation that is involved in IGRT?

Currently, photons (X-rays) are used to deliver IGRT. The radiation is generated by an equipment called a medical linear accelerator. This equipment is around nine feet tall, is nearly 15 feet long and can be maneuvered around the patient with incredible precision. Operationally, microwave radiation, similar to that utilized in satellite television transmission, is used to accelerate electrons to the speed of light. As they reach maximum speed they smash with a tungsten target which, in turn, produces photons, or X-rays. Reach out to your specialist to understand the radiation therapy costs in Coimbatore.

What Can You Expect From an Individual Who Is Treated with IGRT?

  • The treatment process for IGRT consists of three primary stages: diagnostic, treatment planning, and treatment delivery. 
  • In the process of diagnosis, a radiotherapy doctor creates three-dimensional diagnostic images (often using CT or MRI) of the patient’s anatomy and then utilizes these images to determine the amount of radiation that will be administered to each area of the body. 
  • A simulation session may be part of the treatment planning process in certain instances. 
  • The purpose of this session is to further localize the cancer and complete the radiation therapy for cancer.
  • The IGRT treatments are administered to patients in accordance with a variety of timetables, but typically take place five days a week for six or seven weeks. 
  • Between ten and fifteen minutes are required for each treatment.

What does the IGRT procedure involve?

The technique of IGRT is quite similar to that of a standard radiation treatment; the only difference is that an additional imaging phase is performed immediately before each daily session. A tailored plan of therapy is devised for each patient by the radiation oncologist, typically following a review of the patient’s medical history and a physical examination of the patient.

Preparation for the treatment:

  • Most patients require a treatment preparatory session at a radiotherapy hospital. 
  • At this stage, specialized gadgets that are molded to the patient’s body and help the patient maintain the same position on a daily basis are occasionally produced. 
  • Marking the patient’s skin with a coloured ink that is only semi-permanent can be done to help with positioning the patient for treatment by aligning the radiation equipment with the targeted area. 
  • The ink can be either permanent or semi-permanent. 
  • Sometimes, a specialized CT scan is obtained of the patient while they are in the treatment position so that it can be used as a reference image later on in the process. 
  • The session for treatment preparation might take anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour, and the CT scan can take anywhere from fifteen to thirty minutes on top of that.
  • The process of planning the radiotherapy treatment often takes several days to complete after the CT scan has been completed. 
  • After the plan has been finalized, the patient will be scheduled for an appointment to start their radiation therapy.

Treatment delivery:

  • Because extra X-ray films and inspections need to be performed during the initial image guided radiotherapy session, this session can occasionally go longer than future ones. 
  • The length of time spent receiving therapy often ranges from 10 to 15 minutes.
  • When the patient is in the treatment room, the radiation therapist will use the marks that have been placed on their skin to pinpoint the treatment region. 
  • A treatment table is set up with the patient in the prone position. There are occasions when specially shaped items are utilized in order to assist with rough placing.

How long does the procedure of IGRT take?

Radiation therapy normally is given five days a week for six or seven weeks. When radiation is utilized for palliative care, the course of treatment lasts for two to three weeks. For each radiation therapy session, the patient is in the treatment room for around 15 to 30 minutes. These sorts of regimens, which use small quantities of daily radiation rather than a few big doses, assist safeguard normal body tissues in the treated area. 

The overall dose of radiation and the number of treatments a patient needs depend on the size and location of the malignancy, the type of tumor, the patient’s general health and other considerations.

Image guided radiotherapy has the following major goals:

Radiation therapy that uses imaging to improve precision and accuracy is known as image guided radiation therapy (IGRT). The IGRT method of treatment is used for treating malignancies in mobile body parts, such as the lungs. Obtain the best cancer treatment in Coimbatore by consulting a specialist.