Treating Pancreatic Cancer While Sparing Healthy Tissue from Radiation
University of Chicago radiation oncologists were among the first in the nation to use intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) to treat pancreatic cancer. IMRT targets tumors better than conventional radiation therapy. IMRT differs from conventional radiotherapy in two very important ways:
- The special machines used in this technique "shape" the radiation beam more closely to the actual shape of the tumor--sparing healthy surrounding tissue from unnecessary damage.
- What's more, oncologists can program the IMRT machine to deliver these radiation beams with varying levels of intensity, so that the higher toxicity beams are not aimed near healthy tissue.
This revolutionary, FDA-approved treatment has been successful in treating head-and-neck and prostate cancers.