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What Is Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy?

At Jane Phillips Medical Center, delivering “Quality Care…Close to Home” is a passion. It is part of our Mission, Vision, and Values and is prevalent in every one of our vast array of services including cancer treatment. The Cancer Center at JPMC combines advanced treatment with personalized, one-on-one care in a comfortable, friendly environment. Some patients worry about the safety of radiation therapy, but it has successfully been used to treat patients for more than 100 years. In that time, many advances have been made to ensure radiation therapy is safe and effective. With each advance, new quality checks have developed to ensure safe treatment.

What is IMRT?

Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is a specialized form of treatment that exactly shapes the radiation to fit your tumor. The radiation is broken into “beamlets” and each beamlet is adjusted individually to the shape of your tumor. This allows the radiation to spare normal tissues and concentrate the dose to diseased tissues.

How does IMRT work?
A simulation procedure is first performed by obtaining scans (X-rays, CT, PET, or MRI) in order to determine the exact shape and size of your tumor. Our dosimetrist then creates a computerized 3-D image of the tumor and calculates the beamlets needed to deliver the proper dosage to your tumor. Our radiation therapists deliver your daily treatments, which take about 15 minutes.

Who can have IMRT?
IMRT is an ideal treatment for patients with tumors of the prostate, head and neck, brain, gynecologic tumors, some abdominal tumors, some breast tumors, and tumors around the spinal cord. Dr. Maurice Krause will help you decide which type of treatment is best for you.

What can I expect during IMRT treatments?
At the beginning of each session our radiation therapists position you to correctly deliver the IMRT treatments to your tumor. You are required to lie still during the entire treatment, but every effort will be made to make you comfortable during the session.

Although the treatments are painless, you may experience some side effects from the radiation, depending on the area of your body undergoing treatment. Talk to Dr. Krause or our radiation therapists about these side effects and what can be done to ensure your complete comfort during your therapy.

Conformal Radiation Therapy
There are two kinds of conformal radiation therapy. Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT) delivers shaped beams to the tumor from several different directions. The second kind of conformal radiation therapy is intensity modulated radiation therapy. Our department offers both kinds of treatment.

Radiation Oncology Team
Our team of professionals is dedicated to offering you state-of-the-art technology and cancer care. We are nationally accredited by the Joint Commission.

The IMRT treatments are delivered by a Varian 2300 EX linear accelerator with PortalVision and multi-leaf collimators. We are a fully integrated Varian site utilizing the latest versions of Eclipse treatment planning and ARIA Record and Verify systems.

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