What is Radiotherapy? How is it used as a cancer treatment?
Radiotherapy is the treatment of cancer using exact and carefully measured doses of radiation directed to the specific area of the body where the cancer is.
At our bespoke Cancer Centre our team of cancer specialists work closely with our world-leading oncology consultants. Supported by our advance technology treating patients with the latest techniques by tailoring the treatment to their particular needs.
Treatment is completely painless. Radiotherapy does not make you radioactive and you will be able to mix freely with family and friends. Your treatment team of therapy radiographers will be able to discuss any areas of concern.
The Harley Street Clinic has two new state-of-the art linear accelerators that allow Image Guided Radiotherapy, including breath hold, Cone beam CT, and kV Imaging. RapidArc™ (or VMAT) is fully operational on both machines and treatment times can be reduced to as little as 3 minutes. One linear accelerator also has stereotactic capability which complements our other radiosurgical equipment, Gamma Knife® and CyberKnife®.
RapidArc radiotherapy (VMAT)
RapidArc (VMAT) delivers the radiation in a 360-degree arc around the patient enabling the beam to follow the contours of the tumour, reducing the amount of normal tissue being irradiated.
RapidArc is a way of providing what is known as intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). This form of radiotherapy uses 3D scans of the patient and computer technology to determine the dose needed which is then accurately delivered to the tumour itself.
Such precision is important as it helps prevent the damage of healthy tissue. Another advantage is that patients undergoing the RapidArc treatment only have to remain still for three or four minutes, making radiotherapy a far more comfortable experience.
Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH) Technique
One of the major side-effects of left-sided breast cancer requiring radiotherapy treatment is the long term damage to the heart, caused by radiation exposure. DIBH reduces the radiation exposure to the heart by administering the radiation treatment, whilst they are in a ‘hold-breath’ position. By doing this the heart is displaced ‘away’ from the breast tissue. Dosage is only administered when the patient is at the correct level of inspiration, which is monitored by a 3D outlining system.
The DIBH technique is simple to follow and extremely effective in its outcome. The Harley Street Clinic has effectively performed over 300 radiotherapy treatments using the DIBH technique since 2011.
Without DIBH With DIBH
Radiotherapy Information Leaflet
The Cancer Centre
London W1G 8PP,