Toyama University Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Center 

Toyama University Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Center 

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Radiotherapy Center

Radiotherapy Center

The Radiotherapy Center is involved in the treatment of cancers that develop in sites throughout the body. What distinguishes radiotherapy is its ability to preserve the form and functionality of organs, as well as its comparatively minor burden on the body. As a result, it is often considered easier to handle for elderly patients or patients with complications. Recent innovations in treatment technology have made it possible to better focus the radiation on the site of the cancer, which promises to make treatment more effective while reducing side effects.

Radiotherapy: Treatment Without Surgery

Therapies for malignant tumors can be divided into three main categories: surgery, radiotherapy, and drug therapy (anti-cancer drugs and immunotherapy). The course of treatment will depend on the type of tumor and how advanced it is, but radiotherapy offers a form of therapy without surgical removal of organs in whole or in part — this provides the major advantage of preserving both form and function. For instance, this means it can be possible to treat cancer of the larynx (cancer of the vocal cords) while leaving the vocal cords intact, preserving the patient’s ability to speak.
Radiotherapy comes in two main varieties: external beam radiotherapy, in which radiation is delivered from outside the body, and brachytherapy, in which radiation sources are implanted directly into lesions. Depending on the circumstances, patients are treated using one, the other, or both of these. Radiotherapy has seen remarkable advances in recent years, and now plays a wide range of roles, from therapies that aim to relieve cancer symptoms to therapies that aim to cure the cancer entirely.
Until fairly recently, we provided radiotherapy using a single external beam radiotherapy machine and a single brachytherapy machine; in 2018, we introduced a leading-edge Radixact TomoTherapy system, which performs intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). This Radixact TomoTherapy system features a number of advanced technologies that allow for radiotherapy that is gentler on the body. IMRT is becoming more and more common as a treatment for prostate cancer, head and neck cancer, and brain tumors, and the Radixact TomoTherapy system can be used on not only these, but also tumors in the chest, abdomen, and pelvic regions, as well as on small numbers of metastatic brain tumors or lymph node metastases; it can also handle whole neuro-axis irradiation and total body irradiation.

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