Therapeutic radiation uses high-energy beams of photons or charged particles to damage the DNA of cancer cells so they can’t reproduce.TomoTherapy is a form of Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) that delivers said radiation slice-by-slice. (Tomo is Greek for “slice.”) This approach has some real advantages:
360º delivery. The TomoTherapy Hi Art treatment system’s linear accelerator is mounted to a CT scanner-like ring gantry, which means TomoTherapy treatments can be delivered continuously, from all angles around the patient. More beam directions give physicians more control in how they plan treatments—and more assurance that dose will be confined to the tumor, reducing the risk of short- and long-term side effects.
Thousands of targeted beamlets. The TomoTherapy treatment system uses a patented multi-leaf collimator) that divides the radiation beam into beamlets, all aimed at the tumor. Typically, tens of thousands of beamlets are used in a single TomoTherapy treatment session. Powerful software optimizes the contribution of each one to the total tumor dose, minimizing exposure to healthy tissue.
This makes TomoTherapy sound like an expensive spa treatment. Who wouldn’t want to be gently massaged by thousands of soothing beamlets* of energy?
* Beamlets is my new favorite word!