- Tomotherapy, a cutting-edge, high-precision, systemic cancer treatment method
- What Is “Tomotherapy”?
This is a portmanteau created by combining “tomo,” which means “slice,” and “therapy.” It is
a next-generation, cutting-edge cancer treatment method that can be applied in combination with image-guided
radiation therapy (IRT) and helical tomography-intensity modulated radiation therapy.
Introduction of Tomotherapy
- Tomotherapy, a portmanteau created by combining “tomo,” which means “slice,” and “therapy,” is a next-generation, cutting-edge cancer treatment method that can be applied in combination with image-guided radiation therapy (IRT) and helical tomography-intensity modulated radiation therapy.
- Tomotherapy equipment has a built-in megavoltage computed tomography (MVCT) system, which allows CT scans to be obtained at every treatment session. This means that image-guided radiation therapy can be administered to accurately determine the location of the tumor in real time. In addition, highly precise intensity-modulated radiation therapy can be provided because the precise radiation pieces made by multi-leaf collimator are continuously synthesized at a 360° angle. As such, this approach presents advantages not only in the treatment of tumors, but also in determining the degree to which the tumor size has decreased as a result of treatment, based on diagnostic imaging.
- This is a breakthrough technology that has been instilling hope in cancer patients as it can maximize the therapeutic effects of radiation therapy and drastically reduce the adverse effects caused by treatment.
Characteristics of Tomotherapy
Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT)
Using the built-in CT system, three-dimensional images of the tumor can be obtained at each treatment to identify the location of the tumor or the treatment site in advance, which heightens the accuracy of the subsequent radiation therapy with little to nor errors.
Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
It is possible to precisely irradiate the tumor site by adjusting the intensity of the radiation in a three-dimensional manner, thereby maximizing the therapeutic effects and dramatically reducing adverse effects.
Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and stereotactic radiation therapy (SRT)
Non-invasive, painless and bloodless SRS and SRT can be performed.
Adaptive radiation therapy (ART)
The size of the tumor during radiation therapy can be checked based on the CT image produced by the tomotherapy system for prompt determination of the patient’s response to the treatment. Also, the target size can be modified quite freely based on the changes in the tumor.
Simultaneous treatment of multiple tumors
Even if the tumor is metastatic and has spread to many parts of the body, they can be treated all at the same time for improved efficiency.
Indications for Tomotherapy
- Malignant brain tumor: Primary brain tumor and metastatic brain tumor
- Benign Brain Tumor: Vestibular schwannoma, intracranial meningioma, craniopharyngioma, and pituitary adenoma
Head and neck tumor
Nasopharyngeal cancer, stomach cancer, hypopharyngeal cancer, orbital tumor, maxillary sinus cancer, skull base tumor, and thyroid cancer
Tumor in the body
- Prostate cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, breast cancer, uterine cancer, and ovarian cancer
- Spinal tumors: Metastatic spine cancer, primary spine cancer, meningioma, and spinal schwannoma
Pretreatment for BMT for blood cancer patients (systemic bone marrow irradiation) and lymphoma
Cerebral arteriovenous malformation and cavernous hemangioma
CT scan for tomotherapy planning
Mark the tumor to be treated and the normal tissue to be protected on the planning CT scan
Create an optimized treatment design using the tomotherapy planning computer
Run a CT scan using the tomotherapy system prior to treatment to confirm the tumor location and determine the patient position during treatment
Carry out tomotherapy after postural correction