A new standard of care with another weapon in the fight against cancer is now offered in the Radiation Oncology Department at Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital.

TomoTherapy is an integrated way to deliver radiation treatments for cancer. It incorporates optimized planning, image-guidance and helical delivery to provide precise, continuous radiation therapy from all angles around the patient.

TomoTherapy, together with existing technologies including the Leksell Gamma Knife, IGRT and respiratory gating, as well as a host of on-site cancer specialists, enables Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital to offer the most comprehensive and advanced cancer treatments in the area. The treatments are specifically tailored to use the right tools for individual cancer diagnoses.

A form of intensity modulated radiation therapy; TomoTherapy is an effective treatment for most types of cancer, especially lung, head/neck and prostate cancers. Specifically, it:

  • Acquires three-dimensional CT images of tumors before every treatment to ensure patients are aligned perfectly.
  • Delivers precise treatments in rotating beams of radiation that constantly modulate to the exact size and shape of the tumor.
  • Targets large, small and multiple lesions.
  • Was designed so that highly-precise treatment plans could result in more effective treatment deliveries, with minimized radiation to healthy tissue and side effects for patients.

It has been particularly valuable for the following conditions:

  • Retreating previously irradiated areas of the body
  • Treating multiple targets with less dose to normal tissue

Using the CT images, a board-certified dosimetrist, under the guidance of a physician and physicist customizes the plan of treatment for each patient. The physician decides how much radiation dose the tumor should receive, as well as acceptable levels for surrounding tissues. The system then calculates the appropriate pattern, position and intensity of the radiation beam to be delivered, to match the physician’s prescription. Radiation therapists play a vital role in the treatment sequence, continuously monitoring the patient and ensuring proper alignment.

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