Radiation therapy is a less commonly used treatment option for patients whose liver tumors cannot be surgically removed. Radiation may be administered alone or in combination with chemotherapy or other therapies to treat liver cancer. It is applied externally using one or more beams focused on the tumor to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing.
Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
IGRT targets tumors with greater precision than conventional radiation therapy. Using highly sophisticated computer software and 3-D images from CT scans, the radiation oncologist can develop an individualized treatment plan that delivers high doses of radiation to cancerous tissue while sparing surrounding organs and reducing the risk of injury to healthy tissue.
Because tumors and organs in the abdomen shift during breathing, precise delivery of radiation therapy to cancerous tissue can be difficult. Respiratory gating is the delivery of radiation only at certain points during a patient’s breathing cycle, when the “mobile” tumors and/or regions of the abdomen are in a specific position. This approach decreases the radiation dose to the surrounding healthy tissue
In addition to standard radiation regimens, City of Hope also offers Helical TomoTherapy, an advance technology combining radiation delivery with advanced imaging that results in more focused beams of radiation focused on the tumor while minimizing exposure to adjacent tissues and organs, including the heart, lungs and spine.