IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy) is used to treat head and neck cancers, prostate cancer, and certain types of abdominal cancer.
This type of therapy tightly conforms the radiation distribution to the irregular shape of a tumor. Instead of treating a tumor with a few uniform, flat beams as in the past, IMRT treats the tumor with several small beams of different intensities.
The intensity of each of these individual beams is optimized to directly target and destroy the tumor. Radiation therapists at the Cancer Center use an advanced type of IMRT that is fitted with a multileaf collimeter, a device with a series of computer controlled mobile apertures that subdivide radiation beams into many “beamlets” aimed in various directions, providing varying intensities of radiation.
This type of IMRT also uses a dynamic delivery system, or a “sliding windows” technique that further optimizes radiation delivery by improving its accuracy to specifically targeted areas in a tumor.