Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy

IMRTIntensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) is a procedure that was pioneered by Houston Methodist Hospital's Radiation Oncology Department. As the name suggests, the benefit of this form of radiation therapy is the capability of modifying the amount or intensity of radiation delivered to different areas of the treatment area. Just as in other therapies, CT scans are taken of the patient and fed into a software program. In older forms of therapy, the entire tumor and small amount of healthy tissue would then be radiated with the same amount and intensity of radiation throughout. In IMRT, however, the physician, with the help of dosimetrists (deal with the dose of radiation) and radiation physicists, determines the shape and amount of radiation to be delivered to any given point in the treatment area. This means, that the radiation oncology team, has a greater control over the amount of radiation delivered to any given spot on or near the tumor. Since tumors are irregularly shaped, and different healthy tissues have varying tolerances for radiation, it makes sense that radiation would be delivered in different intensities to different areas. As a result of greater control over the intensity of radiation, side effects of the radiation treatment are minimized while actually allowing the radiation to focus more intensely on areas it is needed.