What is surface guided radiation therapy? (SGRT)
SGRT is a tattoo-free alternative for patients who require radiation therapy.1,2 The technology uses modern 3D camera technology to help track and monitor patient movements during set-up and treatment, and does not require tattoos to guide treatment delivery.1,2
This technique uses an infrared camera that provides the radiation therapist with thousands of reference points on your skin, which aims to precisely track any movements in real time and help support accurate delivery of radiation to the targeted area.1,2
How does SGRT work?
SGRT uses 3D camera technology, which aims to accurately target the radiation treatment.1,2 Additional SGRT features may include:
- Accurate positioning and motion tracking eliminates the need for permanent tattoos on your body.1,2
- During your radiation planning and treatment, patterned light and imaging technology are used to help detect and monitor your exact position, aiming to precisely target the radiation treatment.1,2
- SGRT is often used to assist Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH) treatment for left-sided breast cancer to help minimise the radiation dose to the heart.1
- The treatment sessions are typically shorter than traditional radiation therapy sessions, due to the faster set-up, so less time is usually spent on the treatment table.1
Learn more about how SGRT may be used to help treat left-sided breast cancer
When treating cancer with radiation therapy, our goal is to deliver radiation to your breast area while protecting surrounding healthy tissue from exposure and potential damage.
The proximity of the left breast to the heart may leave the heart vulnerable to radiation exposure.1 Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH) is a technique to move the heart away from the breast during radiation therapy.1 SGRT aims to monitor any movement between your planned and actual position, in both normal breathing and when you are holding your breath.1,2 It continues to monitor you during the breath hold treatment. If you move outside the planned position, SGRT will automatically pause the treatment.2 Treatment will resume only when you are once again in the correct position.
What to expect
Planning and treatment with DIBH
During treatment planning, you will be asked to lie on your back for a planning CT scan to be taken of your body.
After ensuring you are comfortably positioned you will be asked to take and hold a deep breath, starting with 5–10 seconds, working up to 20–30 seconds. You should have the opportunity to practise this breath hold with the support and guidance from your radiation therapist. This is to help ensure that your heart is positioned away from your breast area.1 Once you are comfortable with the breath hold a CT scan will be performed.
For radiation therapy treatment, you will be placed in the same position as for the CT scan. The radiation therapists will guide you through both this set up process, and your radiation therapy treatment. If DIBH is required, you will be instructed when to take a deep breath and when to breath out. SGRT will monitor you at all times.
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Deep Inspiration Breath Hold DIBH
With DIBH, radiation is only delivered when you are completely still. You’re in control of the process.
Any procedure including treatments involving radiation carry risks, including skin irritation and associated pain. Before proceeding with a referral for treatment, patients should be advised to seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner. As in any medical procedure, patient experiences and outcomes will vary.
- Freislederer P, et al. Radiat Oncol 2020;15(1):187.
- Freislederer P, et al. Radiother Oncol 2022;173:188–196.