Image guided radiation therapy (IGRT) involves the use of imaging technology such as X-ray, ultrasound, or optical imaging to direct the delivery of radiation during radiation therapy treatment.
For each patient undergoing radiation therapy, some form of image guidance is used during treatment. Depending on the area to be treated, normal organ motion may require daily image guidance, as is the case when treating the prostate, or more frequent imaging to guide radiation to fast moving organs, such as the lungs. Image guided radiation therapy enhances the ability to precisely target the tumor and protect nearby normal tissue by minimizing exposure to radiation.
Cleveland Clinic's Department of Radiation Oncology has been at the forefront of IGRT since the mid 1990s. Since then, we have acquired various imaging systems incorporating the newest technologies available to provide the most advanced patient care. Currently, we are equipped with image guided radiation therapy systems that use:
- Combined X-ray and optical imaging (Novalis, BrainLAB)
- Cone-beam computed tomography
- Electromagnetic emission detectors (Calypso system)
- Ultrasound imaging (RESTITU).