Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)

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Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)

Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) is a type of conformal therapy that shapes high doses of radiation to the targeted tumor while restricting the dose to surrounding tissues. In the past, conformal radiation therapy has been limited to the use of radiation beams of uniformed intensity. In IMRT, the intensity of radiation beams is varied across the treatment field. This is accomplished through the use of multiple small beams with varied intensity instead of a single, large beam. Physicians “cross fire” the tumor with these small beams to deliver high-dose radiation to the targeted site while minimizing damage to the surrounding areas.

IMRT is particularly useful in cases where tumors are not well separated from vital organs. If a tumor is wrapped around a nearby organ, uniform intensity beams often cannot safely target radiation without the risk of damage to organ tissue. In these circumstances, adding intensity modulation allows for high-dose treatment of the tumor while protecting the organ from harmful radiation.

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