Image Guided Radiotherapy Treatment in India (IGRT)
It is a revolutionary new procedure used for the treatment of cancer, by using on board kilo-voltage cone beam CT scan for precise positioning of tumours. The technique is much better and precise than other procedures which use imaging techniques such as ultrasonogram and electronic portal imaging.
The Image Guided Radio-Therapy (IGRT) involves taking the image of the tumor while the radiation is administered to the patient allowing the doctor to take real time images and thus target the radiation only at the tumor, thereby killing only the cancerous cells and not harming the adjacent healthy cells
Who can Undergo Image Guided Radio-Therapy (IGRT)
Breast cancer is usually diagnosed in early stages and in many cases of breast cancer, the breast can be preserved. In preservation of the breast, the cosmesis should be maintained. The radiotherapy of the breast involves the irradiation of the whole breast and higher dose to the tumour bed. But at the same time the lung and the heart are also irradiated.
Since these patients are going to be the long term survivors, the late toxicities of radiation need to be minimised. Lungs and heart being mobile organs, Image Guided Radio-Therapy ( IGRT) can be solution to overcome their mobility.
Prostrate Cancer can be treated very well with high dose of radiation. Since prostrate is surrounded by two critical organs, the rectum and the urinary bladder, radiation becomes a critical issue. Also, position of the prostrate varies with the bladder filling and to an extent, distension of the rectum. With Image Guided Radio-Therapy ( IGRT), these volumes can be reduced, so that a higher dose of radiation is delivered to the tumour and minimising the dose to bladder and rectum.
The brain is enclosed in the compact cranial cavity and brain does not move on its own within this cavity, but the irradiation volumes are very prone for set-up errors and this is very risky. The movements of neck and chin can alter the position of targets within the cranial sphere to a large extent. The margins of the treatment volumes are kept very tight to save the normal brain and other critical structures and the gradient between the high dose and low dose at the periphery of tumour volume is very sharp. These errors can be minimised with Image Guided Radio-Therapy ( IGRT).
Statistics say that more 60% of the times, lung cancer is detected in advanced stages, when the in which radiotherapy and chemotherapy is the standard of care. To achieve the outcome of radiation therapy with minimal side- effects, it is imperative to administer a radical dose of radiation to the tumor. Since lungs move with respiration, higher volume of radiation is given so as to not miss out the tumor, thus irradiating the normal lung. Image Guided Radio-Therapy ( IGRT) is advantageous in such cases to save the healthy tissues in the lung.