Traditionally, the planning of radiation treatments has been done in two dimensions (width and height). With the help of advanced computer technology, the radiation oncologists at Capital Health Cancer Center use three-dimensional (3-D) conformal radiation therapy to more precisely target a tumor with radiation beams using width, height, and depth.
A 3-D image of a tumor is obtained using CT scan, MRI, or PET scans. Using information from the image, our radiation oncologists use computer programs to design radiation beams that conform to the shape of the tumor. Because the healthy tissue surrounding the tumor is largely spared by this technique, higher doses of radiation can be used to treat the cancer. Improved outcomes with 3-D conformal radiation therapy have been reported for nasopharyngeal (the part of the pharynx that is connected to your nasal passages), prostate, lung, liver, and brain cancers.