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Total body irradiation (TBI) is a form of radiation therapy in which – as the name suggests – a patient’s whole body is treated with radiation. However, it is not used in the same way as most other types of radiation treatment. For instance, while targeted radiation therapy is designed to shrink one or more tumors in a specific part of the body, whole-body radiation therapy is used to prepare the body for a stem cell or bone marrow transplant. Rather than delivering the highest possible dose of radiation to a tumor site, TBI is given in very low doses, several times per day, over a period of three to five days. Cancerous cells can be destroyed through TBI, but its primary goal is to suppress the patient’s immune system, which can increase the likelihood of a successful transplant.

Total body irradiation followed by transplantation can be an effective treatment for several types of cancer, including:

  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma

Patients who are considering total body irradiation followed by a stem cell or bone marrow transplant can come to Moffitt Cancer Center, where our team of radiation oncologists, radiation therapists, physicists and other medical professionals will provide a fully individualized treatment plan. Not only do we consider a wide range of factors when determining the proper radiation dosage and delivery schedule for a patient, but we also implement lung-sparing techniques and other options to help protect the patient’s body against the effects of whole-body radiation exposure. In this way, we not only help our patients obtain the best possible outcomes, but also the highest quality of life throughout their treatments.       

Medically reviewed by Dr. Nick Figura.

For more information about total body irradiation, bone marrow and stem cell transplants or any of the other services we offer at Moffitt Cancer Center, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online. No referral is required to make an appointment.