Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy

Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3DCRT) involves using a computed tomography (CT) scan to design a radiation therapy treatment that is individualised to each patient. The aim of 3DCRT is to deliver a conformal dose of radiation to the tumour while sparing the normal tissue surrounding the tumour as much as possible.


Example of the radiation dose around a tumour
Example of a shaped beam for the treatment of stomach cancer

What is 3DCRT used for?

We are able to use 3DCRT to deliver radiation therapy effectively to most areas of the body. The majority of patients treated with radiation therapy at Peter Mac receive 3DCRT, usually in the form of daily treatments over a period of several weeks.

What does 3DCRT mean for you?

If you require 3DCRT, your radiation oncologist will first identify the area requiring treatment on your planning CT scan. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or positron emission tomography (PET) scans may also be used to help identify the treatment area. A team of professionals, including your radiation oncologist, radiation therapists and medical physicists, work together to develop a personalised treatment plan using sophisticated radiation therapy software. Each treatment plan will use a number of radiation beams from different angles, shaped to the size and location of your particular tumour. This means we are able to create a high dose of radiation around the tumour while sparing the maximum amount of normal tissue. Your individual plan is then delivered every day on the linear accelerator (the treatment machine) by our radiation therapists.

The 3DCRT team

3DCRT treatment is planned and delivered at all five of our Peter Mac radiation therapy sites: Melbourne, Bendigo, Box Hill, Moorabbin and Sunshine.

A team of specialists are required to plan and deliver 3DCRT, including radiation oncologists, radiation therapists and medical physicists. You will also be supported by a range of other professionals including nurses and allied health practitioners. The Peter Mac radiation therapy team is proud to offer this treatment, and we are dedicated to developing and progressing treatment options for the people of Victoria.

Please speak with your doctor to determine if 3DCRT is the appropriate treatment choice for you.