Doctors target prostate cancer using 2D and 3D imaging

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Clinicians at CentraState Medical Center in Freehold, N.J., are offering a novel image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) treatment for prostate cancer patients using advanced 2D and 3D imaging technology. “This new approach to treating prostate cancer enables us to do a better job of preserving the surrounding healthy tissues in order to improve outcomes and reduce complications for our patients,” said Brian Chon, MD, radiation oncologist on staff at CentraState. Chon’s team uses Varian’s On-Board Imager device, an automated, robotic imager mounted on the treatment machine, to generate radiographic x-ray images at the beginning of each treatment session to line up the radiotherapy beam with the tumor. Gold seeds implanted in the prostate made it easier to see and target the tumor, which typically shifts from day to day. “We were amazed by the variability of the tumor position each day,” Chon said. “The prostate gland moves around inside the body a lot more than you might imagine. It is not unusual to see it shift as much as a centimeter, due to the contents of the bowel or bladder.” The CentraState team also generates 3D cone-beam CT X-ray images of the tumor weekly to measure the average amount of tumor motion for better treatment planning. “We’re also able to fuse the 3D images with data in our planning system, to calculate exactly how much dose is going to the prostate and each of the surrounding organs,” Chon said.