Radiation Therapy The TomoTherapy Hi-Art System

The specialized CT scanner is an all-in-one treatment option because it not only acquires 3D images of a patient’s tumor but it can deliver the necessary radiation to a tumor with unprecedented precision while protecting the healthy surrounding tissue.

Behind the Scenes

Before beginning a TomoTherapy treatment, the doctor puts together a plan using 3D images from a combination of scanning technologies (such as CT and MRI) and special software to establish the precise contours for each tumor and surrounding sensitive organs or tissues.

The doctor then prescribes how much radiation the tumor should receive, as well as acceptable levels for healthy tissue nearby. The Hi-Art treatment system calculates the appropriate pattern, position and intensity of the radiation beams to be delivered, based on the doctor's prescribed dose.

The Day of Treatment

Ater checking in for a daily treatment, the patient will be taken to the TomoTherapy treatment room where a radiation therapist will help them onto the Hi-Art system's couch. The patient will most likely lie on their back, and the therapist may fit them with a special device to help them hold still during treatment.

First, the couch will move the patient through the machine once for daily CTrue imaging. Based on these images, the therapist may fine tune the patient's position via small couch adjustments. Then the couch will move the patient through the machine once again, this time more slowly, as the H-iArt system delivers the daily treatment.

What You Can Expect

A typical course of radiation therapy involves a daily process, Monday through Friday.  The number of treatments varies by case.  On the average, the full daily TomoTherapy procedure takes 20 minutes from when the patient enters the treatment room until they leave. This includes about five minutes for the daily CT to be performed and another five minutes for treatment to be delivered ("beam-on time"). The remaining time is used for patient set-up and image registration for proper positioning.

TomoTherapy treatments are completely painless. The experience is similar to having a CT scan or an x-ray taken. You may hear a clicking noise and the hum of the machine, both of which are normal sounds that the machine makes.

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