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.

Surface Guided Radiation Therapy [SGRT]: Talk to us about becoming a patient Learn more

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® 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 was the first private cancer care service in Australia to utilise AlignRT® to deliver tattoo-free radiation therapy. 

Centres offering AlignRT®:


The Varian IDENTIFY™ Surface Guidance System marks a new standard in radiation therapy and features cutting-edge technology. Through the use of advanced optical surface tracking and real time motion management, the patient’s position during treatment is continuously monitored while simultaneously tracking the patient’s natural breathing movements. This real time technology not only increases accuracy and reduces patient treatment times but also eliminates the need to have permanent tattoos – which some patients find is an unwelcome daily reminder of their cancer. Icon Cancer Centre Cairns was the first in the Southern Hemisphere to introduce the Varian IDENTIFY™ Surface Guidance System.

Centres offering IDENTIFY™:

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