Compared to standard radiotherapy, IMRT allows our radiation oncologists to use higher radiation doses than traditional therapies would allow in these areas. At the same time, IMRT helps to spare more of the surrounding healthy pancreatic tissue from harmful doses of radiation.
Two ways that IMRT differs from other radiation therapies for pancreatic cancer are as follows:
- IMRT uses a powerful, advanced computer program to plan a precise dose of radiation in three dimensions, based on pancreatic tumor size, shape and location. IMRT is designed to decrease the volume of nearby normal tissues receiving high doses of radiation, which may decrease treatment side effects.
- IMRT directs radiation at the pancreatic tumor, modulating the intensity of pencil-thin beams of radiation with laser accuracy. For some pancreatic cancer patients, IMRT replaces external beam treatments. In the majority of cases, however, IMRT is used in conjunction with, or after, another primary treatment.