Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy

Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is a newer type of external radiation treatment delivered by machines called linear accelerators. In it, the physician sets the goals of the radiation treatment and a computer helps arrive at those goals by a process called inverse planning. In IMRT, the pattern of radiation in each beam used in the treatment has a varied pattern instead of a more uniform pattern like one found in standard radiation therapy. The patterns are varied in order to deliver the best possible pattern of radiation for each radiation field. UAB was the first to bring IMRT to Alabama in 1999. IMRT has distinct advantages when compared to other forms of treatment. Its computer-calculated modulation of radiation produces a greater dose of radiation to the tumor with less radiation to normal tissue. In order to deliver the optimal radiation pattern, a moving multi-leaf collimator is utilized that changes the shape of the radiation beam during therapy, allowing for great adaptability in treatment. IMRT has potential applications in the treatment of prostate, brain, head and neck, lung, and abdominal cancers. Protocols are under development for other sites including breast cancer and retroperitoneal sarcomas.

Why UAB

UAB Radiation Oncology offers a wide range of advanced treatment techniques in radiation therapy including triggered imaging radiosurgery, Gamma Knife surgery, medical dosimetry, Three-Dimensional Conformal Radiation Therapy, Brachytherapy, External Beam Radiation Therapy, Image-Guided Radiotherapy, Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy, radioisotope therapy, Stereotactic body radiation therapy, Total Body Irradiation, and Total Skin Irradiation.

In keeping with our position as a leading academic medical center, UAB’s research is at the forefront of medicine, providing our patients with the latest and most innovative medical treatment and technology. Our physicians utilize state-of-the-art technology that can precisely target tumors while sparing healthy tissue.

UAB physicians, nurses, and clinical staff create and encourage a supportive and caring environment for patients. They understand what it is like to be on the patient side of the table and consider that in every stage of care. They encourage patients to take an active and informed role in their health and treatment, while tailoring care plans and guidance to each patient’s individual needs.

We recognize that delivering the best clinical outcomes is our primary goal, but we also understand that how we deliver those outcomes determines the overall quality of your interaction with us. When we work in the laboratory, we realize that that our families and future generations are counting on us to develop novel clinical solutions to today’s health problems. When we teach tomorrow’s healthcare professionals, we are shaping tomorrow’s leaders in clinical care and research. When we treat today’s patients, we are aiding the great leaders of tomorrow.

UAB Radiation Oncology clinicians are at the forefront of modern medicine. Their work with the greatest medical minds of today, along with their training of the physicians and researchers of tomorrow, leaves them well-versed in the latest clinical practices and in the creation of promising treatment options for tomorrow.

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Clinical Trials

UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials for Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information on clinical trials at clinicaltrials.gov.

View Clinical Trials