Astera Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
Optimal Radiation Dose. Minimal Side Effects.
At Astera, we use IMRT as a non-invasive technique to treat patients with a number of different kinds of cancer. By using a high-precision radiation targeting system, IMRT enables Astera Radiation Oncology specialists to maximize the radiation delivered to tumors while minimizing damage to healthy tissue.
With years of specialized training and clinical success using this innovative technology, our doctors are able to provide the best possible outcomes for our patients.
How IMRT Works
We deliver IMRT using specially equipped linear accelerators guided by a sophisticated computer system. The radiation beam generated by the IMRT system allows us to see the three-dimensional shape of the tumor in exquisite detail. Traditional radiation treatments were delivered using 4 – 6 separate beams, but IMRT enables our doctors to use hundreds of beams to precisely target tumor cells.
IMRT’s pinpoint accuracy has several vital advantages for Astera cancer patients. It allows our radiation oncologists to deliver the maximum dose to the targeted tumor while minimizing exposure to the surrounding healthy tissues.
The goal: higher local cure rates with fewer side effects.
Using IMRT to Treat Multiple Types of Cancer
While IMRT has been proven successful in treating many types of cancers, its benefits are most apparent for patients with cancer in some specific areas:
- Head and Neck
Prostate cancer cells can be resistant to radiation, requiring high doses for effective cure. The high dose needed is made further complicated by the prostate’s location in the body, flanked by radiation-sensitive areas like the bladder and the rectum.
IMRT enables us to deliver the right dose while minimizing exposure to the non-target tissues. Potential benefits of prostate IMRT include higher cure rates with lower chances of rectal or urinary complications that could affect your quality of life.
IMRT is our ally in making breast cancer treatment safer and more effective. Notably, IMRT is an excellent option for treating cancers of the left breast, which lies above the heart. IMRT technology allows us to distribute the right dose of radiation around the breast while minimizing exposure to the heart, helping prevent potential long-term complications like cardiovascular disease and pericarditis.
Head and Neck Cancers
IMRT has been proven to decrease side effects in patients with head and neck cancers. Studies comparing IMRT to standard radiation showed less xerostomia, or dryness of the mouth, less pain swallowing, and fewer long-term complications. At Astera, IMRT enables us to reduce radiation exposure to vital structures of the head and neck affecting production of saliva and swallowing, which can affect your quality of life.
IMRT is revolutionizing brain tumor treatments. Astera’s use of BrainLab’s micro-multi-leaf system allows for the most sophisticated radiation treatments to the central nervous system available. Brain tumors are irregularly shaped and almost always lie adjacent to vital non-target areas, making IMRT’s advanced dose distribution the ideal treatment for brain cancer.