Radiation Treatment Planning
Treatment planning is the process of determining the target and optimal technique for radiation delivery. AT Martha Jefferson Hospital, we have a Philips Big Bore CT simulator which enables us to image the patients in 3D. Typically the patient spends an hour in the Simulator room. During this time, we determine the optimal patient position for treatment, manufacture customized immobilization devices to ensure treatment accuracy, and obtain a CT scan in the treatment position.
After the patient leaves, an intensive computerized planning process takes place. The patient's planning CT images are transferred to a dedicated treatment planning computer. For our patients who will be treated with external beam radiation, we use the Pinnacle Radiation Treatment Planning System. The planning CT images may be fused with diagnostic scans including MRI scans, other CT scans and PET-CT scans to aid in tumor targeting. Then our team determines the best treatment plan, including a comprehensive analysis of patient anatomy, protection of normal structures, beam angles and energies, and radiation dose. We have an array of computerized planning systems specific to different types of treatment including prostate seed brachytherapy, high dose rate brachytherapy and stereotactic radiosurgery.