TomoTherapy, or Helical TomoTherapy, is a form of CT Guided IMRT or Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy, which is a relatively new type of radiation therapy delivery system. The system was developed at the University of Wisconsin by professor Thomas Rockwell Mackie, Ph.D. and by freelance scientist Tomohiro Muta.

The principal advantage of delivering radiation helically (in a CT like fashion from 360 degrees) is the ability to precisely deliver radiation to a cancerous tumor while sparing the normal healthy tissue around it. Because the radiation source rotates around the patient and is modulated by a unique 64 leave binary micro multi-leaf collimator, moving at an unparalleled speed of 250 cm/second (open/close), the radiation can be delivered with extreme precision using 10's of thousands of tiny "beamlets". This allows treatments that are difficult or impossible for conventional radiotherapy machines to deliver, such as treating just the lining of the lung and not the lung itself, or treating around the spinal cord but not the spinal cord. TomoTherapy "beam on" times are comparable to normal radiation therapy treatment times (about 3–5 minutes beam on time for a common prostate treatment) but do add an additional 2–3 minutes for a daily CT. The daily CT is used to precisely place the radiation beam and allows the operator to modify the treatment should the patients anatomy change due to weight loss or tumor shrinkage (adaptive radiotherapy). Lung cancer, head and neck tumors, breast cancer, prostate cancer, stereotactic radiosurgery and stereotactic body radiotherapy are some examples of treatments commonly performed using TomoTherapy. Any cancerous lesion that is treated with external beam radiation can be treated with TomoTherapy.

While the first clinical use of TomoTherapy was in 2003, there are now more than 200 sites across Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia.

With over 235 peer reviewed publications on TomoTherapy in print and over 1 million treatments performed, the system has gained rapid adoption since its 1st human patient was treated (July 2003). The company went public on the NASDAQ under the symbol TOMO in May 2007 adding to the number of technology and health care related companies born out of the University of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF).

ee also

* Radiation therapy
* Radiosurgery

External links

* [ TomoTherapy Website]
* [ TomoTherapy Treatment Centers]
* [ Tomotherapy information site]
* [ Quick overview of Tomotherapy with Video]

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