Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Radiation Therapy"— Presentation transcript:
1 Introduction to Radiation Therapy ByDr. Amr A. Abd-Elghany
2 Introduction to Radiation Oncology Radiation has been an effective tool for treating cancer for more than 100 years.Radiation oncologists are doctors trained to use radiation to eradicate cancer.About two-thirds of all cancer patients will receive radiation therapy as part of their treatment.
3 Brief History of Radiation Therapy The first patient was treated with radiation in 1896, two months after the discovery of the X-ray.Back then, both doctors and non-physicians treated cancer patients with radiation.Rapid technology advances began in the early 1950s with cobalt units followed by linear accelerators a few years later.Recent technology advances have made radiation more effective and precise.
4 What Is Radiation Therapy? Radiation therapy works by damaging the DNA within cancer cells and destroying their ability to reproduce.When the damaged cancer cells are destroyed by radiation, the body naturally eliminates them.Normal cells can be affected by radiation, but they are able to repair themselves.Sometimes radiation therapy is the only treatment a patient needs.Other times, it is combined with other treatments, like surgery and chemotherapy.
5 Objectives of Radiotherapy Radiation therapy is used :To cure cancer (Radical RT):Destroy tumors that have not spread to other body parts.Reduce the risk that cancer will return after surgery or chemotherapy.To reduce symptoms (Palliative RT):Shrink tumors affecting quality of life, like a lung tumor that is causing shortness of breath.Alleviate pain by reducing the size of a tumor.
6 Meet the Radiation Oncology Team Radiation OncologistThe doctor who oversees the radiation therapy treatments.Medical Radiation PhysicistEnsures that complex treatment plans are properly tailored for each patient.DosimetristWorks with the radiation oncologist and medical physicist to calculate the proper dose of radiation given to the tumor.Radiation TherapistAdministers the daily radiation under the doctor’s prescription and supervision.Radiation Oncology NurseCares for the patient and family by providing education, emotional support and tips for managing side effects.
8 Types of Radiation Therapy Radiation therapy can be delivered two ways – externally and internally.External beam radiation therapy delivers radiation using a linear accelerator.Internal radiation therapy, called brachytherapy or seed implants, involves placing radioactive sources inside the patient.The type of treatment used will depend on the location, size and type of cancer.
12 External Beam radiotherapy (EBRT) Basic principlesTreatment with beams of ionizing radiation produced from a source external to the patient. Superficial tumors are often treated with X-rays of low energy, in the range kV. The beam size is selected by using metal cone-shaped applicators of different sizes.LimitationsDelivery of high dose to the skinRapid “ fall off ” of dose with depthHigher absorbed dose in bone
13 Megavoltage Radiation Therapy Use of megavoltage X-rays produced by linear accelerators.Energies in the range 4-20 MV.Higher penetration, higher dose rate, and better collimation than beams of Co-60.AdvantagesMaximum dose below skin surfaceSkin sparingAbsorbed dose increased with depthSharp 'fall off' of dose at beam edgeBeam shape modified by collimatorsTreatment from any direction can be usedCrossfire technique with 2-4 beams gives higher target dose
16 External Radiation Therapy Proton Beam TherapyUses protons rather than X-rays to treat certain types of cancer.Allows doctors to better focus the dose on the tumor with the potential to reduce the dose to nearby healthy tissue.Neutron Beam TherapyA specialized form of radiation therapy that can be used to treat certain tumors that are very difficult to kill using conventional radiation therapy.Stereotactic RadiotherapySometimes called stereotactic radio surgery, this technique allows the radiation oncologist to precisely focus beams of radiation to destroy certain tumors, sometimes in only one treatment.
17 Radiotherapy fractionation ObjectiveTo achieve the required level of effect on the tumor with the minimal effect to surrounding normal tissues.Number of treatmentsAdvantages of few fractions:Fewer attendancesSparing of resourcesQuicker response.Advantages of many fractions:Less severe acute and late reactionsHigher tumor doses can be achieved, so giving the greatest chance of cure.
18 Stereotactic Radiosurgery Alternative NamesGamma knife;Cyberknife;Stereotactic radiotherapy.Stereotactic radiosurgeryStereotactic radiosurgery is a form of radiation therapy that focuses high-powered x-rays on a small area of the body.Other types of radiation therapy can affect nearby healthy tissue, Stereotactic radiosurgery better targets the abnormal area.
22 Why the Procedure is Performed Stereotactic radio surgery is often used to slow down the growth of small, deep brain tumors that are hard to remove during surgery.Such therapy may also be used in patients who are unable to have surgery, such as the elderly or those who are very sick.Radio surgery may also be used after surgery to treat any remaining abnormal tissue.
24 TBI involves irradiation of the entire body To improve cure rates for sensitive tumorsTo eradicate residual cancer cells .To prevent relapse (leukemia, lymphoma)Preparative regimen for organ (bone marrow) transplantation to destroy or suppress the recipient's immune system, preventing immunologic rejection of transplanted organ (bone marrow)
26 Patient pre-treatment screening There should be adequate renal, cardiac, hepatic, and pulmonary function to cope with the toxicity of chemotherapy and TBI.DisadvantagesThe maximum risk of damage is to the lung.
28 Brachytherapy (internal radiation therapy) A form of radiation treatment where the radiation sources are placed within or close to the target volume i.e. the sources are placed at the heart of the tumor. It allows minimal dose to normal tissue.Radioactive sources used are thin wires, rods, capsules or seeds.These can be either permanently or temporarily placed in the body.IndicationsThe extent of the neoplasm must be known precisely.The site should be accessible for both inserting and removing sources.
29 Permanent Brachytherapy is often performed for prostate cancer using "seeds" - small radioactive rods implanted directly into the tumor.
30 Allows the delivery of a localized high radiation dose. AdvantagesAllows the delivery of a localized high radiation dose.Low radiation riskDisadvantagesStaff (nursing and medical staff ) exposure to radiationLarge tumors are usually unsuitableAccurate positioning of sources requires special skills.Lymph nodes will not be irradiated by the implant or intracavity treatment.
31 Body sites in which Brachytherapy can be used to treat cancer
32 radioactive material into body cavities TypesIntracavityradioactive material into body cavitiesUses : gynae cancers, bronchial cancers, oesophageal cancers, bile duct cancerInterstitialradioactive material in tissuesUses : breast cancer, tongue cancer, floor of mouth cancer, anal cancerSurface of tumourUses : skin, eye
34 Side Effects of Radiation Therapy Side effects, like skin tenderness, are generally limited to the area receiving radiation.Unlike chemotherapy, radiation usually doesn’t cause hair loss or nausea.Most side effects begin during the second or third week of treatment.Side effects may last for several weeks after the final treatment.
35 Is Radiation Therapy Safe? Many advances have been made in the field to ensure it remains safe and effective.Multiple healthcare professionals develop and review the treatment plan to ensure that the target area is receiving the dose of radiation needed.The treatment plan and equipment are constantly checked to ensure proper treatment is being given.