• What is the difference between Proton Radiation and IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy)?

    Asked by HotRodTodd on Tuesday, May 14, 2013

    What is the difference between Proton Radiation and IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy)?

    I am told I might have one or the other, I guess it doesn't matter to me, whatever they say I need. I just want to know is one better than the other?

    3 Answers from the Community

    • carm's Avatar

      Hi Todd,
      So a proton beam therapy uses sub atomic particles and it is very precise, hence expensive because it can zap a tumor while the cells in front and in back of the tumor remain mostly unharmed. IMRT is radiation given in greatest doses of intensity to the thickest part of the tumor by placing tiny metal leaves into the beam to reduce the intensity as well as to customize the shape and dose and direct the dose to a specific part. I hope this helps clarify it. In cases of prostate, I think that Proton beam is the way to go because of the delicate geography that surrounds the gland. Best of luck to you, Carm.

      over 3 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar

      IMRT is tried and true..It uses a computer to adjust the beam as you breath. PhD's in nuclear medicine plot the beams to the tumor. Its very very precise.

      Proton is still new but showing wonderful results. But there is not the track record of IMRT. On the other hand it delivers Radition only at the end point versus IMRT that touches tissue all the way into the body.

      Talk to the Radiologist in detail to help you. Good luck

      over 3 years ago
    • yww's Avatar

      There are only 11 proton centers that are in operation in this country right now according to the following web map: http://www.proton-therapy.org/map.htm . Quite a few are under construction now though. Suggest you carefully check out the pros and cons with each (proton vs IMRT) and talk to the staff and your own doctors before deciding on the best approach.

      over 3 years ago

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