Monday, April 22, 2013

Tomotherapy treatment

This is a guest post by William Blackhurst, MD

Have you ever heard of Tomotherapy treatment?  This is a treatment designed for radiation therapy of various cancers.  Its name comes from the Greek root for slice.  Basically it combines a CT or other type of scan with radiation therapy in such a way that the radiation dose can be altered to match the thickness of the tumor in a given image slice.

Tomotherapy is both intensity modulated and image guided.  Intensity modulated radiotherapy or IMRT uses devices called collimators to adjust the amount of radiation delivered in a single dose.  Image guided radiotherapy or IGRT, on the other hand, uses a scan (from a CT or another imaging modality) to adjust the dose base on the tumors size and shape.

While tomotherapy may or may not be the best treatment option in a given case, it is good to know that it is an option.  It has now been a way to treat cancers for more than 10 years and there are over 300 sites across the US, Canada, Europe and Asia that offer this new kind of cancer treatment.

About the author:

William Blackhurst, MD, after graduating from The Ohio State University College of Medicine, converted from clinical work to medical communications. 

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