Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) breaks up radiation into thousands of tiny pencil-thin radiation beams, allowing the intensity of radiation to change during treatment sessions. This kind of modulation allows different areas of a tumor and nearby tissues to receive different doses of radiation.
IMRT uses inverse treatment planning. In most types of radiation therapy, an oncologist determines the number and angle of the radiation beams and a computer calculates the dosage of radiation needed. In inverse treatment planning, an oncologist determines the dosage of radiation needed for different parts of the tumor and the surrounding tissue and a highly sophisticated computer program calculates the number and angle of the beams.
Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy aims to deliver high dosages of radiation in certain areas that need it, while delivering minimal amounts of radiation to surrounding areas, therefore reducing side-effects of radiation exposure.
IMRT may be used to treat tumors in the brain, pancreas, lungs, prostate, head, neck, liver, breast and pelvis.