Volumetric modulated arc therapy or VMAT is a type of intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) where the gantry--a device for rotating the radiation delivery apparatus around the patient during radiation therapy—can be rotated 360 degrees all around the patient. The speed of the rotation, the amount of radiation delivered and the movement of the radiation shielding can be controlled, reducing the exposure of normal tissue around the tumor and the duration of the radiation treatment, therefore increasing the precision and effectiveness of the radiation therapy.
Highlights of Radiation Therapy Using VMAT
- Able to calculate radiation dose appropriate for the irregular shape and size of the cancerous tumors.
- Able to adjust the speed of rotation of the radiation device, the amount of radiation to be delivered, the distribution of radiation and the movement of the radiation shielding, allowing the radiation to target and cover only the cancerous tumors while minimizing the exposure of the surrounding organs to the radiation. This will reduce the side effects of radiation therapy and thus enable the patient to tolerate the treatment better than before.
- Able to determine the position of the tumors in the patient’s body to match the area where radiation will be focused as the radiation treatment table used for the VMAT technique can be moved up and down and side to side, allowing increased accuracy in treatment.
- Able to more precisely treat cancer than previous technology.
Advantages of Radiation Therapy Using VMAT
- Minimizes impact to nearby organs
- Minimizes duration of radiation therapy
- Convenience and comfort for the patients and increased continuity of treatment
- Increases precision of radiation as per the treatment plan
Possible Side Effects
Most of the side effects of radiation occur because of the impact of radiation on surrounding organs or normal tissue close to the cancerous tumors. This depends on the location of the tumors being targeted. Therefore the patients who are going to be treated by the VMAT technique should ask their doctors about possible side effects..
Follow-Up after Treatment
Follow-up visits after treatment will be scheduled by your doctors.
Bumrungrad International Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand
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