Image Guided Radiation Therapy

In order to ensure precise delivery of radiation therapy for the treatment of cancerous and non-cancerous tumors, doctors previously had to rely on data from previous testing that had potentially undergone change by the time treatment was initiated. Image guided radiation therapy (IGRT) uses two and three-dimensional imaging to ensure correct patient (and consequently tumor) positioning prior to the delivery of the radiation treatment. This helps ensure delivery of the radiation energy to the specific target location for more effective treatment and a minimized risk of damage to surrounding tissue. The imaging procedures are performed simultaneously to provide real time data to the doctor.

There are several different types of imaging technologies that may be used during radiation therapy, including computed tomography, fluoroscopy, optical tracking, MVCT and others. Your doctor will decide which type is best to help visualize your treatment area.

Image Guided Radiation Therapy | Fiducial Marker Placement | Atlanta
image courtesy of Varian Medical Systems

Fiducial Marker Placement

A fiducial marker is a reference point used with imaging technology to help the doctor keep a target area within his/her field of view to ensure accurate results for the patient. In radiation therapy, these markers are used to mark the tumor and facilitate precise delivery of the radiation energy. For most tumors, three to six markers placed close to the tumor can help the doctor perform the treatment procedure with the highest level of precision.

Fiducial markers must be securely placed near the targeted tumor to ensure that they do not migrate during treatment. Fiducial markers are most commonly placed prior to a course of IMRT for prostate cancer; these markers may be placed in radiation oncology or in the urologist's office during a simple outpatient procedure.

Our physicians are highly experienced in treating all malignant and benign conditions for which radiation therapy is indicated. If you should have a question about whether or not a particular treatment is offered in our office, please feel free to contact our office by telephone.


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