Modern Medicine: Advancements in Cancer Radiation Treatment - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Modern Medicine: Advancements in Cancer Radiation Treatment

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Panama City, Fla. -

Prior to radiation treatment, cancer patients have to undergo multiple imaging studies.  These studies include X-rays, CT, PET-CT and MRI scans. 

The difficulty comes when the position patients are in during those studies doesn't match up with the required position for radiation treatment.  This makes it more difficult to target the tumor.  Smart Adapt technology helps remedy that problem.

Radiation Oncologist Dr. Jeff Trupp gives an example, "Let's say the PET-CT was done with the arms over the head, and you treat the patient with the arms below the head, obviously that changes the position."

Dr. Trupp says in the past, doctors would have to lay the images over one another and estimate the tumor location.  Smart Adapt, also known as Adaptive Radiotherapy, changes that.

"With this technology, we can deform those other imaging studies to put the patient in the exact position for that treatment, so we can accurately define that target or tumor," explains Dr. Trupp.

Dr. Trupp says the technology takes the images pixel by pixel and shapes them to the patient's body.  This allows doctors to combine the diagnostic images and line them up exactly as needed to plan the radiation treatment.

When doctors can better target the tumor, this spares normal tissue, which leads to fewer side effects.

Smart Adapt also has other advantages.  Doctors can compare the patient's case to a library of 5,000 other cases that have been evaluated by an expert panel, it takes less time for planning the treatment process so patients can begin radiation therapy faster than before, and doctors can adapt the treatment plan more accurately as the tumor shrinks in size.