A SPECIALISED form of radiation treatment that reduces side effects is expanding to head and neck cancers after a successful pilot treating pelvic tumours. This month, Intensity Modulated Riotherapy (IMRT) will begin to be offered to patients, particularly hose with tumours in the nasopharynx, on the Charing Cross and Hammersmith sites.
The treatment uses 3D modelling to deliver a high density dynamic radiation beam to specific areas of a tumour. It is preferable to conventional radiotherapy as it is more accurate, meaning high doses of radiation can be delivered safely, avoiding damage to vital structures which may be harmed using conventional radiotherapy techniques.
By way of example, the treatment will in many cases, avoid treating salivary glands such as the parotid and in doing so, avoid the patient experiencing unpleasant side effects such as a dry mouth.
Dr Mark Glaser, chief of service for radiotherapy, said: “The use of IMRT in conjunction with chemotherapeutic agents and in many cases surgery may undoubtedly improve survival and reduce the most unpleasant side effects in this very complex area of cancer management.”
The introduction of IMRT for patients with head and neck cancer will initially take the form of a pilot programme. It follows a highly successful IMRT test programme for patients with prostate and gynae cancers which started in July.
The expansion in use of IMRT at Charing Cross Hammersmith has meant that Suzanne Harrow, head of therapy, radiography, has initiated several educational programmes for radiographers so that treatment can be given on four of the department’s new linear accelerators."
The article was dated January 2008 and I think is a Charing Cross Newsletter type thing.
Not sure how to post a link on here but if you want to see the actual article I can probably figure out how to do the link.
Hope this helps you.
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