Radiation Oncology

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Drs Chen and ReddyDr. Reddy with patients
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Treatment options

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About radiation oncology

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Treatment Options

Radiation Therapy is one method used for treating certain malignant, as well as some nonmalignant, conditions. This treatment uses high-energy rays and electron beams to interrupt the growth of cells. Machines called linear accelerators use electricity to create painless, high-energy x-rays and electron beams. These rays are beamed into your body during treatment. The radiation oncologist, a specially trained physician, will decide the dosage, technique and type of radiation to be used for your treatment. There are various types of radiation treatments available for specific conditions. Your physician will discuss with you the type of treatment that can help you the most. The following is a list of available services we offer:

Brachytherapy

Occasionally, a surgical procedure may be necessary to implant or place radioactive sources in an anatomic site which is involved with cancer. Usually these procedures are carried out in the operating room under the usual sterile and surgical methods necessary for other types of surgery. Either general or local anesthesia may be required and certain restrictions will be temporarily made in patent's activities. Methods of delivering brachytherapy dose include intracavitary or interstitial placement of sources, instillation of colloidal solutions, and parenteral or oral administration. At the radiation department of University of Toledo, these options are available to patients in the form of encapsulated sources of radiation (Cs-137), Wires for interstitial therapy and permanent implants such as Au-198 or I-125 seeds. These implants provide radiation to a limited area which minimizes the exposure to normal tissues. Common sites of treatment for these implants include cancers of the tongue, lip, breast, vagina, cervix, endometrium, rectum, bladder and brain. Strontium 90, a beta ray applicator is used at UT to treat pterygium, a benign condition of cornea, and Strontium-89 coloride is given intravenously for bone pain palliation. For other lesions radioactive isotopes are administered orally , parenterally, or instilled into intrapleural or peritoneal spaces. Iodine-131 for example, is frequently used for treatment of thyroid cancer by oral administration. Learn more.

Intensity Modulated Radiation

Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy, or IMRT, can intricately direct a beam of radiation to its target from a variety of angles. It allows physicians to minimize “hot spots” that can be accompanied by painful skin irritations. New computer technology has made IMRT possible and allows it to be included in the range of therapies available to our patients. UT uses cutting-edge technology in designing radiation treatment plans that are highly customized to each and every patient. The system evaluates many possible combinations of radiation beam shape, size and angles to help UT radiation oncologists create the best possible treatment plan for each patient. When the diagnosis is cancer, treatment options must carefully be weighed to identify the most effective option with the least side effects. Even after radiation is chosen as a course of treatment, a variety of methods, including IMRT, may be considered. Often radiation will be used along with surgery, chemotherapy or a combination of the two. Learn more.

Radioisotope Therapy

Radioisotope therapy is a targeted therapy. Radioisotopes are delivered through the bloodstream or orally through ingestion. The Radioisotopes commonly used in the Radiation department here are Iodine-131 and Strontium-89. Iodine-131 is used to treat thyroid cancer. The therapy is usually given by mouth (liquid or capsules). The Iodine-131 is ingested, and it is concentrated in the thyroid cells, killing the cancer cells. If the dose is low enough the patients treatment is given as an outpatient. Strontium-89 is used to treat bone metastasis, usually from prostate cancer. The isotope travels to the areas of damaged bone. This procedure is also done as an outpatient. Learn more.

Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS)

Stereotactic Radiosurgery is a procedure that relies on complex brain mapping techniques and computer technology. The patient undergoes CT scanning that takes painless cross-sectional pictures of the brain. Once the CT data are gathered, the physics team enters the data into a high-powered computer. The tumor regions and important brain structures are carefully outlined. The computer reconstructs the anatomical structures in 3D using the graphics programs developed at UT. The software identifies potential crossing of radiation beams with critical structures in the brain such as the eyes, optic nerves, brain stem and the internal capsule that carry nerve bundles to the spinal cord. Learn more.

Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy

Stereotactic body radiation treatment (SBRT) utilizes highly-precise radiation treatment, which is delivered in 1-5 total sessions (high dose per fraction). It can be used to control tumors in the lungs, liver, adrenal glands, and bones, as well as other sites. SBRT minimizes the radiation dose received by adjacent normal tissues, and is therefore usually well-tolerated with very few side effects. Learn more. 

Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)

Dynamic Targeting® IGRT technology accounts for motion to ensure that the target is in the same position every treatment session. With Dynamic Targeting IGRT, innovative radiographic, and fluoroscopic and cone-beam CT modes are integrated with automated repositioning and motion management visualization software. This enables clinicians to verify that treatments are completely in sync with respiration.

Dynamic Targeting IGRT provides high-resolution, three-dimensional images to pinpoint tumor sites, adjust patient positioning when necessary, and complete a treatment—all within the standard treatment time slot. These capabilities take IMRT and stereotactic IMRT technologies one step further by raising the quality of patient care and improving efficiency. Learn more.

Last Updated: 4/20/16