TomoTherapy is one of the most integrated, advanced systems for comprehensive cancer treatment available today. The all-in-one system let’s your physicians scan and treat you with a single piece of equipment, which makes it faster, more accurate and convenient.
– It provides highly precise targeting and attacking of cancer cells. This helps to effectively treat hard-to-reach and complex tumors with highly precise radiation delivered from 360 degrees around you.
– It uses daily CTrue™ imaging to guide the treatment each day – so doctors can adjust your treatment as they go based on even the smallest changes in your anatomy.
– It is capable of treating small, large and multiple tumors – in multiple areas of the body – during the same treatment session or course of treatment.
– Minimizes damage to surrounding healthy tissue, so you have a lower risk of pain, complications and fewer and less severe side effects.
– It is non-invasive and as painless as having a CT scan or an x-ray making you live your life during the course of treatment. The treatment itself takes only a few minutes as little as 10 minutes.
Behind the Scenes
Before beginning TomoTherapy treatment, your treatment team puts together a plan using 3-D images from a combination of scanning technologies (such as CT and MRI) and special software that help define the size and shape of each tumor and proximity to surrounding sensitive organs or tissues. Your doctor then prescribes how much radiation the tumor should receive, as well as acceptable levels of healthy tissues nearby. The TomoTherapy treatment system calculates the appropriate pattern, position and strength of the radiation beams to be delivered, based on the prescribed dose.
The Day of Treatment
After checking in for the daily treatment, you will be taken to the TomoTherapy treatment room where a radiation technologist will help you onto the TomoTherapy system’s couch. You will most likely lie on your back, and your technologist may fit you with a special device to comfortably help you remain still during treatment. If imaging is necessary, the couch will move through the ring once on daily CTrue™ Imaging. Based on these CT images, the therapist may fine-tune your position via small couch adjustments. Then the couch will move you through the ring once again, this time more slowly, as the TomoTherapy system delivers your daily treatment.
What You Can Expect
A typical course of radiation therapy involves a daily visit, Monday through Friday. The number of treatments varies by case. On average, the full daily TomoTherapy procedure takes 10-20 minutes from when you enter the treatment room until you leave. This includes time for the CT imaging process to be performed and for treatment to be delivered (“beam-on time”). The remaining time is used for set-up and proper positioning. TomoTherapy treatments are painless. The experience is similar to having a CT scan or an x-ray taken. You will hear hums and clicks of the system at work –calibrating to your customized treatment plan –but treatment is comfortable and peaceful.
Accuray (2011). A Revolution in the Fight Against Cancer. What TomoTherapy Means to You.