TomoTherapy is one of the most innovative and accurate radiation therapies in India. It is an advanced form for cancer treatment that has a combination of Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) with the accuracy of computed tomography (CT) scanning technology (IGRT- image guiding radiotherapy) all in one machine.
Why is this therapy unique from others?
This is unique because of its 4Dkv imaging feature that provides 4D volume images of the tumors that are moving. The radiologist can identify and target them without harming the healthy tissues present in the proximity.
It is a non-invasive technique, with minimal side effects. The CT scanner enables treatment delivery from 360 degrees around the patient. It is so precise that it can be used to treat recurrent cancer tumors.
In this therapy, radiation is focused on a tumor from different directions. The patient will lie down on the table and maybe fitted with a special device to hold still during the treatment. Once the couch has moved through the scanner, the doctor will view the images and make necessary adjustments. Then once again the couch will move the patient very slowly through the machine as this time the machine delivers the daily treatment.
A thin beam rotates around the body from many directions. This results in thousands of tiny beamlets of
different intensities passing through the body, treating the tumors.
The radiographer operates the machine and the patient can talk to him/her freely via intercom. The area
that should not be exposed to the radiation will be covered by a material.
Special software is used for each treatment volume and risk areas. The therapy technology adjusts the patterns, position, and intensity of the radiation beam to be given as closely as possible to the doctor’s prescription. This system will calculate the treatment plan and coordinates the treatment delivery. The patient will be asked to wear a dress provided by the hospital.
The procedure takes only a few minutes each day around 20 minutes from when you enter the room until you leave. It takes five minutes for the daily CT and five minutes for the treatment to be delivered and the remaining time is for the patient set-up and image registration for proper positioning. It is completely pain-free throughout the procedure.
After the treatment, the patient will be monitored closely for treatment schedule, medication and overall health. The number of treatments depends upon the individual case.
Imaging tests will be done to monitor the efficiency of the radiations.
If the patient is not comfortable or finds any allergy or side effects which are very rare, the same should be informed to the oncologist with no further delay
Benefits of TomoTherapy:
The treatment is very precise. Very less time is taken. It is a minimally invasive procedure. Previously irradiated areas of the body can retreat.
This is very a effective treatment option for Breast cancer treatment, Prostate cancer treatment, and Lung cancer treatment.
This can be used for any type of problem that needs radiation therapy, including large tumors or multiple tumors throughout the body.
Eliminating the tumor is not possible; this is used as a palliative treatment. Recovery after the treatment is very fast. There is no need for anesthesia.
Risks of TomoTherapy:
Along with the benefits, there are few risks involved that are Diarrhea, swelling in the leg, bladder issues, skin problems, dry mouth, vomiting, and difficulty in urination.