Four-dimensional radiation therapy

Four-dimensional radiation therapy (4-D RT), also called respiratory gating, is a radiation treatment used to target tumors that move with a patient’s breathing, such as lung cancers. It allows physicians to track the tumor’s motion so precise radiation can target the tumor without damaging surrounding tissue.

When 4-D RT is used, the physicians select the proper segment of the patient’s breathing cycle to deliver treatment. The patient’s breathing cycle is tracked during treatment using specialized cameras and the radiation beams are only turned on during the pre-determined portion of the breathing cycle when tumor motion is as minimal as possible.

Benefits to using 4-D RT include more accurate treatments for moving tumors, reduced risk for side effects and the use of higher, more effective levels of radiation while reducing the damage of healthy tissue.

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