IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy)

IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy) is a method of delivering high-precision radiotherapy using a computer-controlled linear accelerator to deliver precise radiation doses to a malignant tumour or to specific areas within the tumour.

IMRT is the most widely used radiation therapy technique for prostate cancer in the UK and USA. At CCL data from CT (Computed Tomography) scans and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) are used to plan treatment delivery to the prostate. The diagnostic modalities give the optimal information required to ensure that the treatment only covers the volumes delineated by the Consultant, while sparing dose to the surrounding regions and critical structures in close vicinity. The radiation dose is planned to conform to the shape of the tumour in three dimensions by ‘modulating’ the intensity of the radiation beam. The radiation dose to the tumour can therefore be escalated while concurrently minimising radiation dose to surrounding normal tissues. Research has shown that IMRT also has the potential to reduce treatment toxicity, even when higher doses are delivered to the tissue being treated.

At CCL IMRT is also routinely used to treat bladder, oesophagus, pancreas and lung cases.

At CCL less complex ‘forward planned’ IMRT is used to treat all our breast patients. This ensures that a homogenous dose distribution is delivered throughout the entire treatment volume with heart and lung doses minimised.