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Radiation Therapy Techniques

3-D External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT):

By using tomography (CT) scans and other scanning devices, radiation oncologists have been able to represent tumor sizes in 3-D form. This allows high-dose external beam radiation therapy to be delivered primarily to the cancer with less damage to normal cells. EBRT is given to outpatients for approximately six to eight weeks, beginning with a planning session or simulation. The radiation oncologist places marks on the body and takes measurements to line up the radiation beam in the correct position for each treatment. When treatment is in progress you will be treated by radiation from multiple directions as you lay comfortably on a table. Radiation can be delivered specifically to an organ or encompass the surrounding area including your lymph nodes. 

Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT):

Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy is one of the most exciting developments in radiation therapy treatment. IMRT has the ability to treat irregularly shaped lesions in the direct vicinity of critical structures with dose distributions that otherwise would not be possible. This new technology uses a computer-based inverse treatment planning system to program the movement of the dynamic multi-leaf collimator. IMRT uses computer-generated images to plan and then deliver even more tightly focused radiation beams to cancerous tumors than is possible with conventional radiotherapy. With this capability, clinicians can exquisitely paint or sculpt a precise radiation dose to the shape and depth of the tumor, while significantly reducing the adverse effects of doses on healthy tissue.

Stereotactic Radiosurgery/Radiotherapy (SRS/SRT):

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a highly precise form of radiation therapy treatment involving the delivery of a single high-dose used primarily to treat tumors and other abnormalities of the brain. Despite its name, stereotactic radiosurgery is a non-surgical procedure that uses highly focused x-rays that converge on the specific area of the brain where the tumor or other abnormality resides to treat any tumor, inoperable lesion or as a post-operative treatment to eliminate any leftover tumor tissue. Using a helmet-like device that keeps the head completely still and three-dimensional computer-aided planning software, stereotactic radiosurgery minimizes the amount of radiation to healthy brain tissue.

Stereotactic radiosurgery is an important alternative to invasive surgery, especially for tumors and blood vessel abnormalities located deep within or close to vital areas of the brain. Radiosurgery is used to treat many types of brain tumors, both benign or malignant and primary or metastatic. Additionally, radiosurgery is used to treat arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), a tangle of expanded blood vessels that disrupts normal blood flow in the brain and is the leading cause of stroke in young people.

Although stereotactic radiosurgery is often completed in a one-day session, physicians sometimes recommend a fractionated treatment, in which treatments are given over a period of days or weeks. This is referred to as stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT).

Stereotactic radiosurgery works in the same way as other forms of radiation treatment. It does not actually remove the tumor; rather, it distorts the DNA of tumor cells. As a result, these cells lose their ability to reproduce. Following the treatment, benign tumors usually shrink over a period of 18 months to two years.

Brachytherapy:  Brachytherapy, also referred to as "internal radiation," "interstitial brachytherapy," "seeds," or "implantation," uses a radiation source that is placed directly into or near the treatment area. By using internal radiation therapy, the doctor can give a higher total dose of radiation in a shorter time than is possible with external treatment.

  1. PROSEED Permanent Prostate Seed Implant
  2. Mammosite Partial Breast Irradiation
  3. High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy
  4. Low Dose Rate (LDR) Brachytherapy

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