Medical Definition of Radiation therapy, 3-D

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Radiation therapy, 3-D: A procedure that uses computers to create a 3-dimensional picture of the tumor in order to target it as accurately as possible and give it the highest possible dose of radiation while sparing normal tissue as much as possible. Also known as targeted radiation therapy and as conformal or conformational radiation therapy.

Conventional radiation therapy directs x-rays not only at the tumor but also unavoidably at nearby healthy tissue. 3-D radiation therapy is meant to deliver a higher dose of radiation to the cancer without causing so much damage to surrounding tissues.

3-D radiation therapy is in use to treat prostate cancer and is under study with other types of cancer including lung cancer, brain tumors and cancer of the head and neck.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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