IGRT (Image-guided radiation therapy) is the utilization of images while using radiation therapy to enhance the accuracy and improve the precision of the treatment that is being delivered. IGRT is used for treating tumors in organs of the body that are frequently moving like lungs.
The cost for IGRT varies for different procedures or for curing tumor in different parts of the body. The cost also depends on the number of sitting required to treat the tumor, which vary for each patient.
No surgical requirements
Permanently kills the tumor
Image Guided Radiotherapy aka IGRT Procedure uses 2 D or 3 D image systems for directing the focus of radiation therapy on affected areas only while following the image coordinates that were constructed during the initial stage of the radiation treatment plan.
Stage 1: Usually before an IGRT, the doctors collects all the information regarding the case of the patient by running X-Rays and other image-based test, built on which a therapy chart is created.
Stage 2: The doctors follow these images and use them as a guide to go ahead with the radiation therapy. The therapy can be facilitated on an out-patient basis as the whole therapy requires a few sitting in order to completely cure the tumor.
Stage 3: Throughout the therapy, the condition of the patient is analyzed via frequent image comparisons to identify the improvements while focusing on directing the radiation to other affected areas of the body.
How is Image-Guided Radiation Therapy given to a patient?
In this treatment, the radiation is delivered to the patient using cyclotron/ synchrotron (for proton) or linear accelerator that is equipped with advanced imaging technology which allows the physician to analyze the tumor during or immediately after the radiation. Physician uses computer software to compare the progress using the images that are regularly taken during the simulation. This then helps in adjusting the position of the patient or the radiation beams in an effective order, so that it directly targets the tumor without damaging the healthy tissues in the surrounding.
Other technologies that can be used for image-guidance include ultrasound, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), and CT (Computed tomography). Other methods might also include markers or implants placed in or on the surface of patient body to determine the positioning of the tumor.
Why is IGRT Used?
Image-guided radiotherapy is designed to treat tumors present in the areas of the body that are expected to have a movement, like liver, lungs, prostate gland, and pancreas, or tumors that are located in a or near a critical organ.
Unlike other radiation-based treatment, IGRT ensures to treat the patient without interfere with his/her healthy cells.
Who is involved in IGRT Treatment?
Radiation therapy is delivered to the patient with the help of the following specialist:
Radiation Oncologist acts as a physician who analyzes the patient, determining the appropriate combination of IGRT that will be suitable for the patient. He also charts a plan underlining the area that needs to be treated and the dose of medicine that needs to be delivered.
Dosimetrist & Therapeutic Medical Physicist
Together Dosimetrist, Therapeutic Medical Physicist & Radiation oncologist determine different procedures which are best suited for delivering the prescribed dose to the patient. Then the Dosimetrist creates a calculative structure to proceed with the treatment.
Radiation Therapist are trained technologist that are responsible for acquiring the images for following up with a guided treatment.
The oncology nurse attains the additional information throughout the treatment to prevent the therapy from causing any side-effects or reactions on the patient.
Users can explore Medmonks.com to learn more about IGRT and the hospitals that offer this treatment.