TomoTherapy Radiation | Cancer Care Institute | Genesis - Genesis Health System

TomoTherapy Radiation

TomoTherapy Hi-Art Treatment

Genesis is the first hospital in the region to offer patients the TomoTherapy Hi-Art treatment system, an advanced delivery system for radiation therapy. TomoTherapy is an all-in-one treatment option that acquires 3D images of a tumor and delivers the necessary radiation with unprecedented precision while protecting healthy surrounding tissue.

Cancers Treated with TomoTherapy

TomoTherapy treatment has been very successful with prostate cancer and is also an option for many other cancers, including brain and spine tumors. In addition, the technology benefits patients with recurring cancer, secondary cancers or metastases, who may have reached a maximum dose of radiation during the treatment of their primary cancer. With this new technology, cancer is a re-treatable disease, opening up new treatment options.

How TomoTherapy Works

TomoTherapy combines intensity-modulate radiation therapy using a specialized CT scanner that pinpoints the tumor and delivers 360-degree radiation to it. 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.

What to Expect during TomoTherapy

The TomoTherapy system looks similar to a jumbo CT scanner. A radiation therapist will help you onto the Hi-Art system's couch. You will most likely lie on your back and may be fitted with a special device to help you hold still during treatment. After the couch has moved you through the scanner once, the therapist will review the images and may make small adjustments to your position. Then the couch will move you through the machine once again, this time more slowly as the system delivers the daily treatment.

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.

A typical course of radiation therapy involves a daily process, Monday through Friday. The number of treatments varies by case. On average, the full daily TomoTherapy procedure takes 20 minutes from when you enter the treatment room until you 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.


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