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Surface Guided Radiation Therapy

Surface Guided Radiation Therapy, also known as tattoo-free radiation therapy, uses advanced camera technology to facilitate 3D tracking of the skin’s surface during set-up and treatment.

What is surface guided radiation therapy?

Surface Guided Radiation Therapy (SGRT) is a tattoo-free alternative for patients who require radiation therapy.

Traditional radiation therapy requires patients to receive very small but permanent tattoos on their skin around the treatment site. These tattoos help the radiation therapist position the patient correctly and deliver treatment to the right location. SGRT uses advanced camera technology to track and monitor patients during set-up and treatment, eliminating the need for permanent tattooing or other temporary markings on the skin.

This technique also provides the radiation therapist with thousands of reference points on a patient’s skin and allows them to precisely track a patient’s movements in real-time during treatment, helping to ensure radiation is delivered safely and to sub-millimetre accuracy. Safety is further enhanced by the system’s auto-pause feature, which automatically pauses treatment if a patient moves outside of a safe position while treatment is underway.

SGRT treatment sessions are typically shorter than traditional radiation therapy sessions, as the set-up process can be completed more quickly.

AlignRT® 

AlignRT® is a technology suite that enables the delivery of tattoo-free SGRT. The system uses advanced camera technology to track the patient’s skin surface in three dimensions during set-up and treatment, making it possible to deliver radiation safely and accurately without the need for permanent tattoos or other temporary markings on the patient’s skin. The system is fully integrated with the linear accelerator (treatment machine), enabling faster set up and shorter treatment times for patients.

Icon Cancer Centre Mulgrave is the first private cancer care service in Australia to utilise AlignRT® to deliver tattoo-free radiation therapy. The centre currently uses this technology to treat breast cancer patients, with a view to employing this technology to other cancer types soon.

Breast cancer

Traditional radiation therapy for breast cancer requires patients to receive very small but permanent tattoos on their chest. These tattoos help the radiation therapist position the patient correctly and deliver treatment to the right location. For some patients, these tattoos are ongoing, unwanted reminders of their cancer treatment.

SGRT uses advanced camera technology to track and monitor patients during set-up and treatment, removing the need for patients to receive permanent tattoos or other temporary markings on the skin. The platform’s auto-pause functionality and high degree of accuracy also support the safe delivery of advanced radiation therapy techniques for breast cancer patients, including Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH).

SGRT is suitable for all patients undergoing radiation therapy for breast cancer.

Centres offering SGRT treatment


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