IMRT is a method of treatment planning and delivery that allows a very precise and customised radiation therapy plan to be created. The shape of the radiation beam coming from the treatment machine can be ‘modulated’ (adapted) to conform to the shape of the area that the consultant radiation oncologist wants to treat.
The main aim of IMRT is to maximise the dose of radiation that can be delivered to the target area (tumour site), while minimising the dose to the surrounding normal tissues. The ultimate aim of IMRT is to deliver a dose high enough to ensure tumour control whilst keeping the treatment side effects to a minimum.
IMRT is used at UPMC Whitfield Cancer Centre primarily to treat cancers of the prostate, rectum, abdomen, lung, head and neck, oesophagus, brain and gynaecological tumours.