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Techniques Used In Radiation Therapy

Techniques Used in Radiation Therapy

2019-07-29 19:37:53


The leading cause of death globally remains to be cancer. The word cancer is often used when a person describes how a loved family or friend dies. The first cancer treatments appreciated were introduced in 1895 after the discovery of Xrays. Cancer treatment has continued to progress at an increasing rate each year with new technology and growth in knowledge on the subject. There are many treatment options to be considered such as radiation therapy, surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and hormonal therapy. Radiation therapy continues to be one of the most important components of treatments available since it's estimated 50% of all cancer patients receive radiation therapy during their sickness. The reason for such a high amount of uses for this type of treatment is the efficiency to target the cancer cells with beams of radiation produced by radiation equipment called a linear accelerator or LINAC. The high energy x ray beams destroy the cancer cells while preventing radiation damage from the healthy cells. Radiation therapy can be delivered in two different ways, the first is through External beam radiation. This type is the most common and is used from the outside of a patient's body by aiming the radiation beams at the location of tumor. The second type of delivery is Internal radiation or also called brachytherapy. Internal radiation is done through the inside of the body by radioactive sources such as catheters or seeds directly into the tumor.

Fractionation

Radiation dose fractionation is radiotherapy delivered in a fractionated form. This type of therapy generally increases the survival of normal tissues and cells over the cancer cells. Normal cells multiply more slowly compared to the rapid increasing cancer cells which allows the healthy cells more time to heal before they replicate.

3D Conformal Radiotherapy

New technology has allowed older 2D radiation therapy that previously used rectangular fields based on plain X-ray imaging to be replaced with 3D radiation therapy based on CT imaging. This replacement allows for a more accurate target of the tumor as well as precise location of other normal organ structures for the most efficient beam placement and shielding to occur.

Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)

Oncologists can create irregular-shaped radiation doses that take shape of the tumor while also having the ability to avoid other organs with IMRT technology. This process is all possible due to two factors which are inverse planning software and also computer controlled intensity modulation of multiple radiation beams during the process.

Image-guided Radiotherapy

The possibility to miss a tumor due to organ movement or the variations needed for each patient's setup it becomes even more important for treatment options to be more precise than ever before. When critical tissue and organs are close to the tumor, a slight positional error could lead to radiation damage to the healthy cells. IRGT is created and utilized to allow detection of these such errors by the information taken through pre-radiotherapy imaging which can be used for corrections.

Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT)

Another type of treatment that is possible today due to advances in newer technology is SBRT. This treatment delivers very high separate doses of radiation over only a few treatment fractions to destroy small tumors anywhere in the body of patient. The side effects of this however, tissues that are close in proximity to the tumor is likely to get damaged due to the high radiation dose. Since the amount of normal tissue effected is small in the high does region, toxicity is less. Radparts is the world's largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts for Linear Accelerators and Radiation Oncology equipment. Radparts provides high quality, user friendly, low cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. More information can be found at https://www.radparts.com/.


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