Semin Radiat Oncol 1999 Jan;9(1):99-107

Clinical and financial issues for intensity-modulated radiation therapy delivery.

Grant W 3rd, Woo SY Department of Radiation Therapy, The Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX, USA.

Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is a term applied to a new technology that uses nonuniform radiation beams to achieve conformal dose distributions.
This article reviews the use of a commercial system, the Peacock system, which uses a special multileaf collimator (MIMiC) to deliver the dose distribution using arc therapy and segmented fields, similar to a moving strip.
Although initially designed for stereotactic radiosurgery, this system has been employed to treat various body sites. More than 300 patients have been treated at our institution in the past 4 years, mainly for cranial, head-and-neck, and prostate tumors.

Presently, we treat 40 to 45 patients per day with this technology using two linear accelerators operating with 10 MV and 15 MV x-rays, as Peacock has become a standard therapy procedure.
Cases are presented that show the unique ability of IMRT to deliver conformal dose distributions.
Why this type of technology can become a standard procedure and why it is cost-effective therapy for both the institution and the patient are discussed.