Conformal Radiation Therapy uses advances in 3-D treatment planning to determine the configuration of radiation beams so they precisely conform to the targeted tumor. This advanced type of treatment planning allows for the integration of data from multiple diagnostic tests—CT scans, MRI scans and PET scans—to determine the location of the tumor and the vital normal tissues around it. This makes it possible to literally sculpt radiation into the tumor while avoiding critical, normal surrounding tissue. The ability to limit the volume of tissue treated allows the delivery of a higher dose of radiation than that used in standard treatment to the targeted tumor, increasing the ability to kill the tumor cells while delivering less radiation to nearby normal tissues.
An immobilization device may be required for accurate treatment setup. This device is custom made for you while you undergo a CT scan in the treatment position. A series of CT scan slices are produced and the slices are “stacked up” to produce a virtual tumor volume in the treatment planning computer. The radiation oncologist and physicist together choose the angles that will optimally conform to the target.