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Treatment: Image Guided and Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy

External beam radiation treatments are a common treatment for prostate cancer localized to the prostate and pelvic regions. Due to the prostate’s location next to the bladder and the rectum, careful targeting and beam shaping is necessary to irradiate the prostate with precision each day and to avoid excessive radiation of the adjacent normal tissues.

In London, advanced radiation technologies including intensity modulation and image guidance are used to provide high precision radiation treatments. Image guidance refers to the use of daily imaging with CT scans or ultrasound to allow precision target of the prostate each day.

Intensity modulated radiotherapy is a form of sophisticated beam shaping that allows highly “sculpted” radiation doses to be delivered that maximize the dose to the prostate and minimize the dose to the bladder, rectum and other tissues in the region.

London has been a leader in the implementation of advanced radiation technologies for the treatment of prostate cancer. We currently have several clinical trials for men that are exploring the use of this technology to give higher doses of radiation safely over fewer numbers of treatments.

Figures 1 and 2


Helical Tomotherapy

Example of Helical Tomotherapy Unit Used for Image Guided, Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy



Example of an ultrasound unit used on the radiation treatment unit for daily prostate localization for treatment.


dose distribution

Sample dose distribution from an intensity modulated radiotherapy plan that treats the prostate (purple) to the desired dose (yellow line) while ensuring adjacent tissue receive lower doses.

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Last Updated June 18, 2009 | © 2007, LHSC, London Ontario Canada