This imaging capability ensures the accuracy of the treatment as we can monitor the position of visible tumors and sensitive organs during treatment. The LINAC’s improved targeting capabilities result in less damage to normal tissues and organs. This not only leads to a comfortable treatment option for patients but also results are more precise with improved tumor control and fewer side effects.
WHAT PATIENTS CAN EXPECT FROM THE RADIATION THERAPY PROCESS. The delivery of high precision radiation therapy requires complex, accurately calibrated equipment and highly specialised clinical and health professionals. A patient can expect the following steps in the radiation therapy process at our Oncology Centre:
CT SIMULATION: A CT simulation scan is performed to ascertain the position of the tumor as well as the position the patient should be in to receive treatment. This scan is performed by our skilled Radiation Therapists in our dedicated 64-slice CT scanner. For the patient’s comfort and reproducibility of the setup, special immobilization devices are used. These immobilization devices are dependent on the position of the tumour site and aid with allowing for the most homogenous dose distribution in our treatment plan. In the case of cancers of the head and neck a special thermoplastic mask is fabricated for the patient at the time of CT simulation.
CONTOURING: Your Clinical Oncologist will contour the tumor volume that is intended to receive the prescribed dose together with the surrounding organs at risk.
TREATMENT PLANNING: The Medical Physicist/Dosimetrist will create a treatment plan using all technical parameters of the LINAC to ensure optimal dose homogeneity to the tumor volume and minimal exposure to the surrounding organs at risk is achieved. This plan will then be reviewed and discussed by both Oncologist and Physicist to ensure the treatment criteria is being achieved before it is approved.
QUALITY ASSURANCE: All radiation treatment plans are passed through a series of quality controls checks using specialized phantoms by our Medical Physicists to ensure the technical integrity of the plan is treatment worthy. Quality assurance pass rates are determined by protocols set out by the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).