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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

What are IMRT and IGRT for prostate cancer?

Listen as Dr. Chong describes intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), a form of treatment that involves the delivery of radiation to certain tumors. IMRT has made it possible to safely deliver escalated doses to the prostate gland. Dr. Chong also explains image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), which uses a radiation beam to track the prostate gland. This technique is designed to deliver a more targeted dose in hopes of reducing the impact to surrounding organs and producing fewer complications. 

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Lanceford Chong: I’m Dr. Lanceford Chong, Chief of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Western Regional Medical Center. Prostate cancer has evolved in the area of radiation oncology significantly over the past several years. Number one, we have intensity modulated radiation therapy which is a form of treatment planning and treatment delivery. With IMRT, we have been able to escalate the dose that we can safely deliver to the prostate gland, which allows for better control rates. We also have developed the area of image guided radiation therapy, which allows us to track the position of the prostate gland as it relates to the beam. This is something that is very important because we can increase the volume of margin around the prostate gland as we perform our complex, computer-based treatment planning. With this, we are able to decrease the dose and volume to the surrounding normal organs, and this translates to a better tolerated treatment course, decreased toxicities, and a decrease in late complications.