IMRT / Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy

Varian Systems SmartBeam IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy) is a state-of-the-art cancer treatment method that delivers high doses of radiation directly to cancer cells in a very targeted way, much more precisely than is possible with conventional radiation therapy.

This therapy is now offered at North Cypress Medical Center under the direction of Dr. Behar.

SmartBeam IMRT uses computer-generated images to plan and then deliver tightly-focused radiation beams to cancerous tumors. Clinicians use it to exquisitely "paint" the tumor with a precise radiation beam that conforms as closely as possible to the shape of the tumor. SmartBeam IMRT can be used to treat tumors that have been considered untreatable in the past due to the close proximity of vital organs and structures. Presently, IMRT is used to treat tumors in the brain, head and neck, liver, pancreas, and prostate.

A powerful computer program optimizes a treatment plan based on Dr. Behar's dose instructions and information about tumor size, shape and location in the body. A medical linear accelerator, equipped with a special device called a multileaf collimator that shapes the radiation beam delivers the radiation in accordance with the treatment plan. The equipment can be rotated around the patient to send radiation beams from the most favorable angles for giving the tumor a high dose while preserving healthy tissues.

Clinical studies indicate that the higher dose rate delivered with IMRT techniques significantly improves the rate of local tumor control. Additionally, less damage to surrounding tissue occures.

The IMRT systems has been available at Stanford University for the past two years, and all clinical IMRT staff at the North Cypress Radiation Oncology Center were trained there.

IMRT radiation field block

IMRT Xray radiation angles