On the leading edge of radiation oncology.
Sharp HealthCare is the only designated TomoTherapy Treatment Center in San Diego and one of 10 in California.
TomoTherapy is one of the most advanced therapies involving a combination of intensity-modulated radiation therapy and CT scanning.
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), is an advanced radiation therapy technique, which involves customizing the shape, size and intensity of the radiation beam to match the patient's tumor. Matching the beam to the tumor significantly improves how much healthy surrounding tissue can be protected from the radiation.
The TomoTherapy Hi-Art System allows radiation therapists to target cancer cells with even more precision. The radiation therapist uses the CT scanner to view the tumor in three dimensions right before each treatment. By seeing the shape of the tumor in 3-D, the radiation therapist can deliver the radiation beam with extreme precision and reduce the damage to healthy tissue.
The TomoTherapy system is fast, flexible and helps radiation therapists treat everything from the smallest tumors to large areas of the body. It can also treat multiple sites simultaneously.
TomoTherapy can be effective in treating cancer of the head and neck, brain, prostate, lung and other challenging sites. It is also used for retreatment radiation therapy.
Stereotactic radiotherapy for cancer treatment.
Sharp-affiliated physicians also uses the TomoTherapy platform to perform noninvasive Stereotactic Radiotherapy (SRT). Like IMRT, SRT applies highly targeted radiation to the affected area and protects more of the healthy, surrounding tissue.
Because it is so precisely targeted, SRT can apply high radiation doses over just a few days (generally 2 to 5 days) instead of applying less-targeted, low-dose radiation for up to 40 days in traditional radiation therapy. With SRT, much higher doses can be delivered accurately to the tumor itself, leading to greater control and cure rates and fewer complications.
SRT is effective in treating many brain, spinal cord, lung and liver tumors.
What to expect.
- Before each treatment, the patient lies still on the couch and moves through the Hi-Art machine for a 3-D TomoImage (a CT scan). These images verify the shape, size and location of the tumor and the placement of the treatment field.
- The radiation therapist uses the TomoImage to adjust the device so it delivers the radiation in the precise shape and location of the tumor.
- The patient then lies still on the couch again as it moves through the Hi-Art machine. Radiation is delivered in a spiral pattern (360 degrees) to the tumor as the Hi-Art machine rotates around the couch and moves from one end of the couch to the other simultaneously.
The procedure takes 15 to 25 minutes.