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What is 3D Conformal Radiation Therapy (CRT)?

3D imaging for a patient with a lung tumor

3D CRT is a cancer treatment that allows doctors to direct radiation beams to conform to tumor shapes.

In the past, beams only matched the height and width of the tumor — and exposed healthy tissue to radiation.

Advances in imaging technology now let doctors find and treat the tumor in a more precise way.

CRT uses targeting data to focus right on the tumor and avoid the healthy tissue around it. This exact targeting allows for higher levels of radiation in treatment, which is better for shrinking and killing tumors.

3D CRT is — in many ways — like intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). They both target cancer while sparing healthy tissue.

Your radiation doctor will decide which treatment is best for you, based on your tumor's shape and where it is.

How Do You Deliver 3D Conformal Radiation Therapy?

Before treatment, you'll have a 3D CRT planning session, where your doctor will make a mold to custom fit you.

They'll take a 3D image of your tumor with methods like:

Then, a computer program studies the 3D image and designs radiation beams that match the shape of the tumor.

Contact Us About Radiation Oncology at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center

To learn more about radiation treatments or to make an appointment you can: