ADVANCED RADIATION THERAPY TECHNOLOGIES
If your cancer treatment plan includes radiation therapy you will be referred to one of our expert radiation oncologists for care.
You will have access to the most advanced radiation therapy technology (like the Varian Novalis Tx) and the most advanced radiation treatment techniques, including externally-delivered image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), and internally-delivered radiation brachytherapy and selective internal radiation therapy.
Access the Radiation Patient Portal.
WHY RADIATION THERAPY?
When used prior to surgery, radiation therapy can shrink your tumor to allow the surgery to be less extensive. As a follow-up after surgery, radiation therapy can destroy any small amount of cancer left behind and reduce your risk of recurrence.
Radiation therapy is also used in metastatic cancer to slow down the growth of cancer cells, destroy new growth or shrink existing tumors, relieve pain and improve your quality of life.
Our radiation oncologist will work with your primary care physician, medical oncologist and surgeon to create and oversee a personalized treatment plan that will be most appropriate and beneficial for you based on your cancer type and treatment goals.
RESULTS-DRIVEN RADIATION THERAPIES
HIGH-DOSE-RATE (HDR) BRACHYTHERAPY
High-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy involves a powerful radiation source that our radiation oncologists accurately directs to deliver doses directly into a patient’s tumor through catheters (thin flexible tubes) or applicators placed in a body cavity.
It is a computer-controlled delivery system that optimizes dose distribution to the tumor and is frequently used in the treatment of cervical and uterine cancers.
IMAGE-GUIDED RADIATION THERAPY (IGRT)
Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) involves using imaging such as computed tomography (CT), ultrasound, or X-rays to consistently and accurately direct externally-delivered radiation dose. In some cases, markers are implanted in or near the tumor site to serve as three-dimensional reference points for setting up each radiation beam delivery.
Our radiation oncologists use the imaging taken prior to each treatment to accurately re-locate the tumor site, which may have shifted due to organ filling or movement. For example, a prostate tumor will move if the patient has a full bladder or rectum.
The image-guidance provides pinpoint precision to maximize radiation dose to the tumor while minimizing the radiation exposure to the surrounding healthy tissue and organs. IGRT is often used to treat cancers of the prostate, liver, head and neck, or lung.
IGRT is often used with IMRT to give our radiation oncologist the most accuracy and control of the radiation dose.
INTENSITY-MODULATED RADIOTHERAPY (IMRT)
Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) is a specialized form of externally-delivered radiation therapy that is especially useful when the tumor is either surrounded by highly sensitive healthy tissue or near an area previously exposed to radiation.
With IMRT, the radiation beam can be broken up into many “beamlets,” and the intensity of each beamlet can be adjusted individually. A computer system is used to generate a “best-fit” plan by evaluating millions of possible beamlet arrangements and then zeroing in on the optimal arrangement of beamlets that maximizes radiation dose to the tumor while limiting the radiation exposure dose to nearby healthy tissue.
Radiation oncologists can use IMRT to deliver a higher dose of radiation to the tumor within each treatment session while minimizing side effects typically associated with higher doses.
Our radiation oncologists specialize in using IMRT to treat prostate cancer and head and neck cancers. IMRT is also being used to treat breast cancer on our accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) clinical trial.
STEREOTACTIC RADIOSURGERY (SRS)
Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is an extremely precise computerized technique used to treat some brain tumors by delivering a high dose of radiation in one single treatment. SRS is performed on an outpatient basis at our Aurora and Lakewood clinics, and can be used in combination with—or in select cases, instead of—brain surgery.
Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are used to pinpoint the location and exact shape of the tumor. SRS utilizes microbeamlets of radiation precisely focused to within a fraction of a millimeter of the brain tumor while avoiding the surrounding healthy brain tissue.
SRS delivered with the Novalis Tx is every bit accurate as the Gammaknife treatment machine and additionally allows treatment of larger, more irregularly-shaped tumors.
STEREOTACTIC BODY RADIATION THERAPY (SBRT)
Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) uses a technique similar to stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) to treat tumors outside the skull, like lung and liver. Like SRS, SBRT is performed on an outpatient basis and can be used in combination with—or in select cases, instead of—surgery.
One difference between SRS and SRT, besides tumor location, is that the dose is typically delivered over several daily treatments rather than in a single large dose.
SELECTIVE INTERNAL RADIATION THERAPY (SIRT)
Selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT) is an image-guided, non-surgical procedure used to treat tumors in the liver.
Our radiation oncologist will work alongside an interventional radiologist to deliver tiny radioactive beads into the blood vessels that lead directly to the tumor. The majority of these beads will be lodged in the outside edge of the tumor(s) and the radiation has a direct destructive effect on the tumor itself and the vessels feeding the tumor.
Destroying the vessels feeding the tumor means that the tumor can no longer be supplied with the nutrients in the bloodstream. Most patients will see a reduction or stabilization of their liver tumors after SIRT.
Since the beads emit radiation to the cancerous area with minimal exposure to the healthy portions of the liver, SIRT allows doctors to treat tumors that are not accessible with conventional surgery or radiation treatments.
QUALITY CANCER CARE THAT COSTS LESS
Because we are a community-based provider we are able to bill our radiation oncology services more cost effectively, resulting in savings for our patients, our payers and employer groups.
Our financial counselors will be happy to answer any questions and assist in obtaining approval from your insurer. They can also help secure additional resources when possible.