We know that tumors move between treatments. Traditionally doctors allow a margin around the tumor to account for it-which meant that radiation would also destroy healthy tissue. Edward Cancer Center is the first facility in the Chicago area to treat patients with the most advanced and precise radiation therapy available. Trilogy image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) uses sophisticated real-time imaging to precisely target tumors and place patients in the best position for treatment. IGRT is especially beneficial for tumors whose locations change on a daily basis.
How it works
Trilogy incorporates a sophisticated new imaging system, which allows clinicians to use real-time images, including CT images, to position patients for treatment with sub-millimeter accuracy, making sure the tumor is directly in line with the treatment beam. More accurate tumor targeting, combined with the highest dose rate available, means we can treat lesions of any size, including very small tumors, more effectively and more quickly-sometimes in a single session. Another patient benefit is that side effects of treatment are reduced.
A respiratory gating system takes into account the tumor movement that can occur as a patient breathes, turning the beam off and on, so that treatment is delivered only when the tumor is stationary. During treatment, patients can continue to breathe naturally, reducing stress and increasing comfort.
In addition to the precision of its beam, Trilogy offers the highest dose rates available, to deliver a potent punch of radiation in a short amount of time. This combination of precision and power allows Trilogy to reduce both treatment times and side effects."
The treatment plan
Prior to treatment, images of a patient's tumor and the surrounding anatomy are generated (using MRI, CT or PET scanning), and clinicians use this information, along with sophisticated treatment planning programs, to prepare a detailed treatment plan. The treatment plan specifies the exact dose to be delivered to the tumor, as well as how the technology can best deliver that dose, given the three-dimensional geometry of the target and surrounding tissues.
When the patient arrives for treatment, clinicians use Trilogy's advanced imaging system to confirm the exact tumor position relative to the radiation beam, and make any needed adjustments before treatment begins. Some treatments, primarily for small lesions and metastases, can be accomplished in a single session, while other treatments require multiple sessions.
What patients can benefit from this technology?
So far, head/neck, prostate and lung cancers have been treated at Edward using IMRT. Delivering highly precise image-guided radiotherapy marks the beginning of a new generation of cancer care for our patients.