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Versa HD is a revolutionary linear accelerator that allows us to safely and efficiently deliver conventional radiation therapies to treat a broad spectrum of tumors throughout the body, while also enabling sophisticated approaches to traditionally challenging cases that require extreme targeting precision. The system’s patented technology provides superior conformance to tumor size, shape and volume, supporting higher dose rates that can enhance treatment effectiveness, while protecting critical structures such as the heart, spine, or bladder. The result is highly precise treatments with shorter treatment times, and the ability to offer highly advanced therapies while minimizing the impact of treatment on our patients’ quality of life.
Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
In IMRT, very small beams, or beamlets, with varying intensities can be aimed at a tumor from many angles. The intensity of each beamlet can be controlled. During treatment, the beam shapes change hundreds of times. The radiation dose can be made to bend around important normal tissues in a way that is impossible with other techniques. Because these motions are so complicated, special high-speed computers, treatment-planning software, multileaf collimators, diagnostic imaging and patient-positioning devices are used to plan treatments and control the radiation during therapy. IMRT may improve the effectiveness of radiation therapy by delivering more radiation dose to tumor cells while reducing the exposure of surrounding cells.
PET/CT combines the functional information from a positron emission tomography (PET) exam with the anatomical information from a computed tomography (CT) exam into one single exam. A PET scan detects changes in cellular function—how your cells are utilizing nutrients like sugar and oxygen. Since these functional changes take place before physical changes occur, PET can provide information that enables your physician to make an early diagnosis. A CT scan uses a combination of x-rays and computers to give the radiologist a non-invasive way to see inside your body.
P.E.T. (Positron Emission Tomography) is a powerful diagnostic tool that, in many cases, renders answers that no other imaging test can provide. Used in conjunction with CT (Computed Tomography) imaging or on its own, P.E.T. is a non-invasive procedure that helps physicians in their diagnosis and treatment of some types of cancer, heart disease, and diseases associated with the brain. P.E.T. imaging can reveal metabolic changes in your body that will be further examined by your physician. The use of P.E.T. imaging is helping our facility to provide the most advanced level of patient care possible. This guide should give you a general over view about P.E.T. and what applications it is commonly used for. Please consult your physician for any specific questions you have about P.E.T. exams that are not addressed here.
Computed Tomography (CT) Scan
Computed tomography (CT) is a diagnostic procedure that uses special x-ray equipment to obtain cross-sectional pictures of areas inside the body. A computer then assembles these pictures into detailed images of organs, bones, and other tissues. CT imaging is particularly useful because it can show several types of tissue-lung, bone, soft tissue, and blood vessels-with great clarity. Using specialized equipment and expertise to create and interpret CT scans of the body, radiologists can more easily diagnose problems such as cancers, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, trauma, and musculoskeletal disorders. A CT scan of the body is a patient-friendly exam that involves little radiation exposure.
External Beam Therapy (EBT)
External beam therapy (EBT) is a method for delivering a beam of high-energy x-rays to the location of the patient’s tumor. The beam is generated outside the patient (usually by a linear accelerator, see below) and is targeted at the tumor site. These x-rays can destroy the cancer cells and careful treatment planning allows the surrounding normal tissues to be spared. No radioactive sources are placed inside the patient’s body. Delivery of external beam therapy requires a treatment team, including a radiation oncologist, radiation physicist, dosimetrist, and radiation therapist.
Once the tumor is localized by the radiation oncologist and the tumor volume defined, a three dimensional treatment plan is generated to conform a radiation beam to the tumor. During the planning process the radiation beam is sculpted to maximize the dose to the tumor while sparing the surrounding critical organs. The goal of the treatment planning process is not only to deliver an adequate dose to the tumor volume but also to minimize the dose to the surrounding normal tissues to alleviate side effects.