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3D CRT, or three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy, is an advanced technique that incorporates the use of imaging technologies to generate three-dimensional images of a patient’s tumor and nearby organs and tissues. The use of three-dimensional images in the treatment planning process distinguishes 3D CRT from other forms of conventional radiation therapy. Using this detailed information, a patient’s treatment team can develop a highly refined plan to deliver a concentrated radiation dosage to a tumor. As a result, a higher and more effective dose of radiation can be delivered directly to cancerous cells. At the same time, the amount of radiation received by the surrounding healthy tissues can be significantly reduced.

If 3D CRT is recommended for a patient, a radiologist will create three-dimensional images of a tumor and the surrounding structures using one of the following imaging technologies:

  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)
  • PET-CT

Because 3D CRT allows for a high level of precision and accuracy in the delivery of radiation treatment, it may be recommended for addressing tumors that are close to vital organs. For instance, 3D CRT can allow high-energy X-ray beams to be delivered to head and neck tumors in a way that minimizes exposure to sensitive nearby structures, including the spinal cord, optic nerve and salivary glands.

The outstanding research team at Moffitt Cancer Center continues to explore and develop state-of-the-art technologies, such as 3D CRT, to help make radiation treatment safer and more effective for patients. We also offer 4D CRT, or four-dimensional conformal radiation therapy, which measures the natural movements of tumors that occur during treatment. For instance, because tumors in the chest area are subject to movement as a patient breathes, 4D CRT can be especially useful for treating lung cancer. To ensure that a tumor is precisely targeted through its range of motion and spare as much healthy tissue as possible, our physicians include precise tumor motion measurements in a patient’s radiation treatment formula configurations. 

To learn more about 3D CRT or any of our other advanced radiation therapy options, call 1-888-663-3488 or request an appointment by completing a new patient registration form online. We do not require referrals.


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