TomoTherapy: Pioneering form of radiation therapy for many types of cancer

Developed by University of Wisconsin researchers, TomoTherapy is a form of radiation therapy providing exceptional treatment accuracy. UW Health | Carbone Cancer Center radiation oncologists use TomoTherapy to precisely target your tumor while minimizing impact on surrounding healthy tissue.


A form of radiation therapy developed here

At the UW Health | Carbone Cancer Center, you receive nationally recognized cancer care. But we don’t just offer innovative cancer treatments. We create them. 

That’s the case with TomoTherapy. Our researchers discovered, developed and patented TomoTherapy. Since 2003, we’ve been offering this pioneering form of radiation therapy to people with many types of cancer. 

We offer unmatched TomoTherapy expertise. You’ll also have a team of specialists supporting you in your cancer fight every step of the way.

About the treatment

What is TomoTherapy?

TomoTherapy is one form of radiation therapy. It’s designed to target the tumor but avoid healthy tissues.

The treatment is delivered by a special machine that first creates an image of your tumor. The machine then moves around you, precisely delivering radiation to the tumor. The number of treatments you receive depends on the type of cancer you have and what we learn about it. We have several types of radiation therapy and we will discuss which therapy is the right treatment for you.

Who is TomoTherapy for?

We often use TomoTherapy to treat hard-to-reach cancers or cancers located next to vital organs. It can be helpful in areas of your body where it’s important to limit radiation exposure. These include the breast, brain, bowel and prostate cancer. Your doctor will review and discuss the treatment method that will work best for you.

The treatment process

Attacking cancer, sparing healthy tissue

There are several steps involved in TomoTherapy. You go through each step every time you have treatment. 

Your treatment begins with you lying on a table that moves into the TomoTherapy machine. The machine creates a 3-D image of your tumor that shows its exact size, shape and location. 

Based on your CT scan, technicians determine the intensity of the radiation you’ll receive. They’re able to adjust the dose of radiation to specific parts of your tumor. 

While lying on the same table you were on for your CT scan, you are moved into the TomoTherapy machine a second time. Part of the machine rotates around you, delivering radiation in a spiral pattern from many different angles.

You’ll likely receive treatment daily, Monday through Friday. Your doctor will determine the number of treatments you need. 

From beginning to end, each treatment session takes less than 30 minutes. TomoTherapy is painless. Like any medical treatment, it may have certain side effects. However, they tend to be less than those from other types of radiation therapy.

Meet our team

Advanced treatment from the experts who know it best

A radiation oncologist will direct your overall care. Joining your doctor are medical physicists, dosimetrists and radiation therapists. Together they work to create a personalized treatment plan that will be safe and effective.

Our providers


Cancer care unlike any other

TomoTherapy and other types of radiation therapy are offered through the UW Health | Carbone Cancer Center.

UW Health | Carbone Cancer Center

The experts at the UW Health | Carbone Cancer Center intimately understand every type of cancer. We will get to know you and design a treatment plan that works for you and your family.

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