Lifewatch: Radiation Therapy

WILMINGTON -- A breakthrough in radiation treatment is giving doctors a new and more accurate way to attack tumors.

Fast-growing tumors are difficult to remove because they move around the body.

Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) is a new four-dimensional imaging system designed to target tumors.  The system compensates for the tumors motion and misses healthy tissue around the tumors, making it more precise than traditional radiation.

The 4-D scan updates the location of the tumor before every treatment so the radiation can be realigned to directly hit the target.

One woman had an inoperable tumor behind her eye.  Over 70 days of IGRT, doctors were able to target the tumor with high doses of radiation.  They were also able to spare the patient's eyes, hearing, fragile healthy tissue in her face, and is now cancer free.

This new system creates better results and fewer side effects for the patient.

Reported by Kristy Ondo