What is IMRT?
First introduced in the radiation oncology realm in the early 1990’s, Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) has been commonly used in facilities nationwide since 2000. IMRT is a treatment process that uses radiation to kill cancerous tumor cells. When a patient undergoes IMRT, each session is painless, just like getting an X-ray. The radiation is directed toward the cancerous tumor from a machine, usually a linear accelerator, located away from the patient’s body. IMRT is non-invasive, unlike conventional surgery and modulates the beam to a patient’s specific tumor shape.
What is Compensator-Based IMRT?
Compensator-Based IMRT is an advanced method for delivering IMRT. Compensators are solid metal, usually brass or aluminum, and are milled to your tumor size and shape. You will have your own set of compensators, making each one completely unique. The compensators are attached individually to the linear accelerator. As the radiation beam passes through the compensator, it is shaped in a way that provides the maximum dose to your tumor and maximum protection to the surrounding healthy areas. Compensators can more accurately spare healthy tissues and organs from unnecessary radiation, reducing the risk of acute and chronic damage.
What are the advantages of Compensator-Based IMRT?
- Less radiation to surrounding healthy tissue
- Shortened treatment time
- Fewer side effects
- Patient specific
- Increased patient and therapist interaction