We use total body irradiation (TBI) for patients undergoing stem cell transplantation for the treatment of leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma.
Like other types of radiation therapy, TBI destroys cancer cells. Because it targets the entire body, it also suppresses the immune system and kills diseased bone marrows cells.
We give TBI before a stem cell transplant to help the body make room for new, healthy bone marrow cells, and to reduce the likelihood that the body will reject the transplant.
TBI is typically given three times a day for several days. The lungs are shielded to lower the risk of damage from the radiation.