Only about 30 facilities worldwide are using the most advanced technology available-TrueBeam image-guided, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (lG-lMRT) from Varian Medical Systems. It extends the capabilities of RapidArc®, Varian’s most advanced linear accelerator, to perform SRS.
- CT scan to allow real-time alignment of the radiation during treatment-no positioning session is needed in advance
- Treatment is continually adjusted to prevent damage to other organs and healthy tissue
- Radiation is delivered at a faster dose rate, with high-precision targeting
- Treatments can be delivered up to 8 times faster, with fewer sessions required
- Sessions are typically only 15 minutes
- Patients are more comfortable throughout
One of medicine’s chief weapons in the battle against cancer is radiation technology, which uses a linear accelerator to deliver high-energy x-rays. Penetrating beams kill cancerous cells. Depending on the type of cancer, radiation therapy may be used alone or together with surgery or chemical treatments.
About Radiation Therapy
There are generally two types of radiation therapy:
- External radiation (external beam therapy) – a treatment that precisely sends high levels of radiation directly to the cancer cells. The machine is controlled by the radiation therapist. Since radiation is used to kill cancer cells, special shields may be used to protect the tissue surrounding the treatment area. Radiation treatments are similar to getting X-rays – they are painless and usually last a few minutes. This type of radiation therapy may be given daily for several weeks.
- Internal radiation (brachytherapy) – a procedure that uses small, radioactive seeds (each about the size of a grain of rice) that are implanted directly into the cancerous prostate tumor. The implanted seeds may be left in permanently or may be only temporary. The seeds emit small amounts of radiation for a period of weeks or months.