Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy or SBRT, is a treatment procedure that uses a specially designed coordinate system to localize and target (with great precision) tumors in the body. This specialized treatment involves the delivery of one to five treatments. A potent biological ablative dose of radiation is delivered to the tumor in a manner not previously achievable with standard conventional radiation therapy.
This form of radiation therapy utilizes multiple radiation beam angles which allow the ablative dose of treatment to be given with increased sparing of normal tissues surrounding the target. North Main Radiation Oncology currently offers Volumetric Arc Therapy (VMAT) on our state-of-the art Elekta Synergy linear accelerator which is able to deliver this type of treatment with greatly reduced treatment times.
During the simulation process which typically takes one hour, we perform 4D CT simulation which allows us to precisely localize the tumor taking into account a patient's anatomy and specific tumor motion. Patients are placed in the Body Fix RT dual vacuum device, a non-invasive immobilization system which provides accurate and precise patient positioning while maintaining patient comfort. CT, PET and MRI scans are integrated into the planning process to help localize the tumor for treatment.
Instead of the typical six to seven week course of conventional radiation therapy, SBRT is usually completed in one to five fractions over one to one and a half weeks minimizing the inconvenience of traveling to the clinic for multiple treatment sessions.
On the day of treatment, the patient will be placed in the Body Fix device and carefully positioned in the treatment position using external skin marks. Sophisticated on-board image guidance IGRT is utilized to ensure that the tumor is being accurately targeted according to the original treatment plan. Patient and tumor motion is evaluated in real-time with radiation oncologists, physicists and radiation therapists continually monitoring the entire treatment from the machine console. The entire process usually takes about 40-60 minutes. The patient will remain awake during the painless procedure and will be able to walk out of the clinic after their treatment.
The patient will be instructed regarding what early and late side effects are associated with their treatment. After the treatment, they will be followed in our clinic to identify and treat any side effects as well as assess the response to their treatment.
SBRT has shown great promise in treating early stage lung cancer, especially in patients who are unable to undergo surgery and metastatic tumors of the spine.
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