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Image Guided Radiation Therapy at St. Joseph Cancer Center
Sometimes tumors can move due to differences in organ filling or movements while breathing. Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) is a form of radiation that is guided by imaging equipment such as CT, ultrasound, or stereoscopic X-ray.

Images are taken just before the patient is given the radiation treatment and then compared with images taken when the patient begins their treatment. The digital informatin is then transmitted to a console in the treatment room to allow doctors to compare the earlier images with the images taken just before treatment. During IGRT, images are "fused' to see if the treatment needs to be changed.

The higher precision of IGRT also allows for a reduction in the volume of healthy tissue affected, leading to fewer side effects and the potential to treat the tumor with more effective, higher doses of radiation.



Linear Accelerator
The linear accelerator is the machine used to treat individuals with cancer. Its use may kill cancer or significantly retard its growth. The 21 EX has two photon energies and six electron energies that can be utilized to treat the cancer. Each energy has unique characteristics to be enlisted in the battle against cancer. The Varian 21 EX serves as a platform for our Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy program (IMRT). The Varian iX Silhouette also has IGRT capabilities, including On Board Imaging (OBI), such as Cone Beam CT, KV/KV Match and Portal Vision

Cone Beam CT takes a CT of the patient on the treatment table and fuses it to the initial CT performed on the patient's simulation day. KV/KV match is when the machine takes an X-ray and aligns the patient by fusing with the initial CT scan.

We offer the latest innovation in radiation treatment of cancer: "dynamic" IMRT, which uses 120 movable "leaves" to conform the intended radiation dose to the shape of the tumor while minimizing doses to normal tissue. The shape and position of the tumor are determined from computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) diagnostic studies. This permits improved dose sculpturing over 3-D conformal radiation therapy.

Varian iX Silhouette
Research indicates providing healthcare in a more welcoming and comfortable atmosphere can be beneficial to patient outcomes. With this in mind, the Varian iX Silhouette provides a more comfortable, patient friendly experience.

The Silhouette allows clinicians to provide state of the art technology. Additional enhancements include a smaller modulator and advanced insulation, which reduces noise levels by 50% during beam on state, for a quieter, more comfortable patient experience.

Philips Big Bore Brilliance CT Simulator
The Phillips Big Bore Brilliance CT Simulator is on the cutting edge of radiation therapy treatment technology. It enhances the process of detection, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. This is important as it is the first in the treatment planning process.

Image-Guided Motion Management (IGRT)
Traditionally, imaging technology has been used to produce three-dimensional scans of the patient's anatomy to identify the exact location of the cancer tumor prior to treatment. However, difficulty arises when trying to administer the radiation, since cancer tumors are constantly moving within the body (for example, from movement caused by breathing). Hence, the exact location of the tumor may have changed between the time of scan and actual treatment. IGRT combines a new form of scanning technology, which allows planar or X-ray Volume Imaging (XVI), with IMRT. This enables physicians to adjust the radiation beam based on the position of the target tumor and critical organs, while the patient is in the treatment position.

BrainLAB Exactrac
This technology aids in the accuracy of daily Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) treatments. It does so by fusing the initial simulation CT to the day to day treatment set up.

Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS)
We offer the latest in tumor isolation treatments for critically located tumors. Stereotactic Radiosurgery is a noninvasive procedure with both minimal side effects and recovery time. SRS is highly effective as an alternative - or complementary - to the surgical removal of small malignant and benign brain tumors. SRS involves a single radiation treatment. With this approach, a minimally invasive localization system is used to pinpoint the tumor. The desired dose of radiation is then delivered directly into the targeted area with very little radiation reaching the surrounding tissue.


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