Tomotherapy: the Most Effective & Comprehensive Cancer Treatment in Arizona

While radiation therapy has been used as a cancer treatment for over 80 years, it still faces the same challenges:

  • How can physicians ensure that the radiation is reaching the tumor?
  • What’s the best way to minimize damage to healthy tissue surrounding the tumor?

Gordon L. Grado Full TomoTherapy Machine - Scottsdale, Arizona - Southwest Oncology Centers

What Is Tomotherapy?

Tomotherapy equipment provides cancer patients with an advanced option for radiation therapy. Its name is derived from tomography, also known as cross-sectional imaging. The Tomotherapy Hi-Art System® merges radiation treatment planning, CT-guided patient positioning and treatment delivery into a comprehensive program called Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT).

The Tomotherapy process uses technology that is very similar to that used in a CT scanner. After the patient lays down on a special treatment couch, that couch slowly moves through a rotating ring which contains a linear accelerator. As the ring rotates, the linear accelerator sends a beam of radiation to the tumor.

What Is the Advantage of Tomotherapy?

Tomotherapy uses a single, rotating beam of radiation, unlike other systems which may use up to seven fixed beams. This methodology ensures that the highest possible dose of radiation is sent directly to the tumor, by directing the beam’s entry angle with CT precision and by continuously adjusting the size and shape of the aperture which shapes the beam in cross-section. The Tomotherapy Hi-Art® System allows physicians to adjust the radiation beam delivery to target the tumor precisely for each individual patient. The Tomotherapy Hi-Art® System also includes sophisticated 3-D imaging capabilities (TomoImage®), enabling optimal target-volume delineation for each patient’s tumor, and allowing physicians to pinpoint the tumor’s exact location for adjusted targeting before each treatment session begins.

Click Play Button Below to see Video Demonstration of the Technology (Courtesy of Accuray)

How Does Tomotherapy Work?

Tomotherapy merges treatment planning, CT-guided patient positioning and treatment delivery into one comprehensive program:

  • Treatment Planning — Before undergoing Tomotherapy treatment, state-of-the-art 3-D imaging software identifies the exact shape of each tumor. At this point, the physician also determines the proper amount of radiation to use on the tumor, as well as suitable amounts for surrounding healthy tissue. The Tomotherapy Hi-Art® Planning Station then determines the proper pattern, position and intensity to use for the radiation treatment.
  • CT-Guided Patient Positioning — Patient positioning plays a crucial role in successful radiation treatment. Before each treatment, the Tomotherapy Hi-Art® system enables physicians to take a special CT scan known as a TomoImage® to identify the tumor’s location and, if needed, make last-minute adjustments to the patient’s position. This is an invaluable tool, as tumor position may shift somewhat between sessions, due to such factors as tumor shrinkage and respiratory movement. The Tomotherapy Hi-Art® system ensures that every radiation session is just as accurate and effective as the previous one.
  • Treatment Delivery — Tomotherapy is comprised of intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), delivered from a ring-mounted linear accelerator (Linac). This Linac delivers its radiation beam in a spiral delivery pattern as it is rotated numerous times around the patient. The size and shape of the aperture, which shapes the beam in cross-section, is continuously adjusted by a computer-driven device known as a multileaf collimator (MLC), as the beam ring rotates around the patient. The MLC consists of two sets of connected metal-shielding leaves which are responsible for shaping the radiation beam, while the patient lies on the treatment couch which slowly moves through the Tomotherapy machine.

Tomotherapy and our experience is the solution that sets us apart, providing our clinicians with the latest method of delivering radiation therapy.

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