OHSU

Total Body Radiation Therapy

Total body radiation therapy is a type of external beam radiation therapy. It is also called total body irradiation or TBI.

If you have TBI, your whole body is treated with radiation. Because TBI can kill cancer cells throughout the body, it is sometimes used to treat blood cancers or other blood disorders. If you need a bone marrow or stem cell transplant, you might have TBI first. TBI destroys or weakens your body’s immune system to keep it from harming the new, healthy bone marrow or stem cells.

To help your body’s healthy cells recover from treatment, most forms of TBI use a low radiation dose. Depending on your cancer type, your health and other factors, you might have several treatments or just one. During TBI, your lungs are covered with a shield to protect them from radiation.

Because TBI uses a low radiation dose, you might also have chemotherapy to help destroy cancer cells.

 

Cancers Treated Using TBI