Tomotherapy Treatment for Prostate Cancer

What is Tomotherapy?

Tomotherapy uses 3D CT scan images in conjunction with advanced radiation therapy, to direct radiation beams into cancerous cells within the prostate gland. Because high radiation doses are delivered to specific targets of the prostate, this system of treatment is known as IMRT (Intensity Modulated RadioTherapy); it is done safely and with utmost precision.

After an initial 3D CT scan is taken of the tumour, radiation is targeted at the tumour from multiple angles, as the patient is moved through a cylindrical machine whilst laid on a table. Consultants can assess appropriate radiation dosage while minimising unnecessary damage to healthy tissue. Radiation targeting and dosage is calculated automatically by the treatment system.

Tomotherapy Prostate Treatment
Credit: Getty Images Ltd.

Patients receiving Tomotherapy should also know that it can involve having small reference tattoos that are used to align the treatment space and the radiation equipment. Alternatively, consultants may use a moulded device (tailor-made to suit each patient) that helps stabilise and maintain a patient’s body position consistently, throughout each stage of their treatment.

What are the benefits?

Tomotherapy treatment does have short-term side effects, including fatigue and irritability, peeling and redness of the skin, but for prostate cancer patients with localised or locally advanced stage cancer, Tomotherapy is an effective treatment. Success rates have been similar amongst patients both young or old; including men aged eighty or over.

Tomotherapy is so safe and exact, treatments can be repeated in previously irradiated areas, and using fewer doses to do so. Prostate cancer patients receiving Tomotherapy are also treated faster. Each eight week course of treatment where high dose radiation is delivered to the prostate involves just five weekly sessions that typically last around twenty five minutes each.

¹Mayo Clinic, Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), 16th April 2020

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Leave A Comment?