External Radiation Therapies : EBRT : Total Body Irradiation (TBI)

Total Body Irradiation (TBI) is an External Beam Radiotherapy (EBRT) that is often used to prepare the body for bone marrow transplantation. This radiation treatment therapy involves applying radiation to most of the body, up to three times per day, for two to four days. The goal is to suppress the bone marrow recipient’s immune system, in turn reducing the risk of rejection and increasing the likelihood that the transplant will be successful. TBI has the benefit of reaching cancer cells within scar tissue or other areas of the body that chemotherapy cannot reach, but the dose of radiation must be low enough that the body's healthy cells can recover from the treatment.

Body Sites Whole Body
Location HSROC
Therapeutic Technique EBRT
Radioactive Source Photons
Equipment Linear Accelerator
Method of Delivery External

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  • Radiation Treatment Therapy
    Radiation treatment therapies that utilize radioactive sources are called radiotherapies, or radiation therapy. These sources use high-energy radiation from x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons, and other sources, to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation damages both cancer cells and normal cells by damaging their genetic material, but normal cells are able to repair themselves and resume proper function. Because of the powerful properties of radiation, proper targeting of cancer cells is essential. Treatment therapies offered at UAB can be administered either externally or internally. External radiotherapies emit radiation from a source outside the body via a machine and include “External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT)” and “stereotactic radiosurgery” procedures. Internal radiotherapies place radioactive materials inside the body. They may be placed in the body near cancer cells, using “brachytherapy”, or they inject or infuse a radiolabeled substance into the body via “Radioisotope Therapy (RIT)”. Radiation therapy may be used alone or in combination with chemotherapy or surgery.
  • EBRT
    EBRT is an acronym for External Beam Radiation Therapy. It is a group of externally-administered radiation therapy treatments that deliver radiation to the patient via a linear accelerator. Radiation treatment therapies in the EBRT group include IGRT (Rapid Arc, Tomotherapy), IMRT, 3D Conformal Radiation Thearapy (3D CRT), Superficial, Total Skin Irradiation (TSI), and Total Body Irradiation (TBI).