The Arkansas Prostate Cancer Center is a partnership between Arkansas Urology and AKSM/Oncology, a national provider of IMRT/IGRT treatment for prostate cancer. The Arkansas Prostate Cancer Center offers radiation therapy for the treatment of prostate cancer, exclusively for Arkansas Urology patients.
Patients with prostate cancer have several treatment options, including:
- External beam radiation therapy
- Prostate brachytherapy
- Hormone therapy
- Watchful waiting
What is External Beam Radiation Therapy?
External beam radiation therapy, also called radiotherapy, involves a series of daily treatments to accurately deliver radiation to the prostate. A carefully focused beam of radiation is delivered from a machine outside the body.
What is IMRT?
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy, or IMRT, is a state-of-the-art technology that allows doctors to tailor each radiation treatment to your individual needs. Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are used to determine the exact location of the tumor and to deliver precise radiation doses to the tumor or specific areas within the tumor.
The radiation oncologist uses computer technology to deliver the appropriate dose of radiation to the prostate and the surrounding tissues. The technology determines the best way to deliver the treatment by varying, or “modulating,” the intensity of each radiation beam. IMRT is more precise and controlled than other forms of radiation and allows higher radiation doses to be focused on specific regions within the tumor while minimizing the damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
Why is IGRT Important?
Image-guided radiation therapy, or IGRT, is used in conjunction with IMRT to ensure that the highly tailored radiation treatment administered by your clinical team is delivered exactly where it is intended, with millimeter precision. Before your treatments begin, your urologist will implant small fiducial markers into your prostate to use as a reference for comparison or measurement each time your receive a treatment. These markers are especially important because the prostate is an organ that moves every day. The markers are inserted during a simple procedure similar to a biopsy.
During your treatment, advanced imaging techniques will be used to locate these markers every day, and the treatment machine will be realigned to ensure that the prostate is exactly where it should be during your treatment. IGRT has been shown to significantly reduce side effects associated with radiation therapy.
Your Clinical Team
During your visit to the Arkansas Prostate Cancer Center, you will be supported by a team of highly skilled specialists dedicated to your care and prostate cancer treatment. Your team includes:
- Urologist – Your urologist from Arkansas Urology will be integrally involved and kept apprised of your IMRT/IGRT treatment progress.
- Radiation Oncologist – The radiation oncologist is the physician who will oversee your radiation therapy treatments. The radiation oncologist works closely with the radiation therapy team to develop your treatment plan and ensure that each treatment is given accurately. The radiation oncologist also monitors your progress and adjusts your treatments as necessary to make sure that the radiation is hitting its targeted tumor while minimizing side effects.
- Medical Physicist – The medical physicist oversees the work of the dosimetrist to help ensure that IMRT/IGRT treatments are properly tailored to each patient. The medical physicist also collaborates with your radiation oncologist to design treatment routines, take precise measurements of the radiation beam, and monitor equipment and procedures to ensure that you receive the prescribed dose of radiation.
- Medical Dosimetrist – The medical dosimetrist works closely with the radiation oncologist and the medical physicist to carefully develop the treatment plan and calculate the exact dose of radiation specifically for you. The treatment plan is designed to effectively treat the prostate cancer while sparing as much of the surrounding healthy tissue as possible.
- Radiation Therapist – The radiation therapist is a specially licensed therapist who administers your daily radiation treatment under the doctor’s prescription and supervision. The radiation therapist also maintains daily records and regularly checks the machines that provide the radiation treatments.