Radiation Oncology

Radiation Oncology is a medical technology that involves controlled use of radiation to treat cancer. Recent advancements in radiation therapy have revolutionized the treatment of cancer, leading to better clinical outcomes for patients. A specialty physician called a Radiation Oncologist manages and oversees each patient’s radiation treatment. Only a radiation oncologist can help in determining if radiation therapy is right for the patient.
There are two ways by which radiation can be administered to patients:

  • External Beam Radiation: External beam radiation therapy delivers radiation through the use of a large machine called a linear accelerator that precisely aims radiation beams from outside of the body at the cancerous tumor.
  • Brachytherapy or Intracavitary Radiation Therapy: Brachytherapy is a type of radiation therapy in which radioactive particles known as seeds are placed within the body on the tumor or nearby the cancer cells.

About half of all cancer patients receive some type of radiation therapy at some point during the course of their cancer care.

What are the different radiation therapy treatment options?

There are several different types of radiation treatment available to patients. These include:

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Three-Dimensional Conformal Radiation Therapy (3D-CRT)

3D-CRT is a commonly used treatment type that aims the radiation beam with high precision at the tumor location using advanced computer software and treatment machines.3-D conformal radiation is a technique that allows doctors to direct radiation beams to conform to the shape of the tumor.
Compared with historical, 2-D radiation therapy, 3-D conformal radiation more precisely delivers radiation to cancer cells, while reducing the amount of radiation to healthy cells. This conventional form of radiation therapy is used to treat cancerous and noncancerous tumors throughout the body.

Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)

IMRT is a treatment option that delivers radiation through the use of hundreds of tiny radiation beam-shaping devices, called collimators. Collimators allow the radiation oncologist to target and deliver varying doses of radiation to different areas of tumor in a meticulous way. The level of precision achieved allows the doctor to spare greater portions of surrounding healthy tissue, leading to fewer side effects.

Rapid Arc

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Rapid Arc is a rotational form of IMRT in which daily treatment is shorter than IMRT (Rapid Arc is 4 times faster than IMRT in delivering radiation). Ability of Rapid arc to spare healthy tissues is better than IMRT. Hence reduced daily treatment time translates into better patient comfort and compliance.

Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)

IGRT is a radiation delivery method used for tumors located in areas of the body that may change between treatments due to organ filling or movements while breathing. In order to account for these changes, IGRT uses repeated imaging scans. These scans are usually conducted in the treatment room just before the patient receives a daily radiation therapy treatment. These images allow the radiation oncologist to adjust the dosage delivered based on any small changes that may have taken place since the time of the patient’s last treatment.

Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) and Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS)

SBRT is typically selected for small, isolated tumors throughout the body such as cancers in the lung and liver. This treatment option is usually delivered in fewer sessions with higher doses of radiation. SRS is a treatment option that delivers a very high dose of radiation in a single fraction. It is most commonly used to treat brain or spinal tumors.

Brachytherapy

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Brachytherapy is form of internal radiation in which small radiation sources, or radioactive seeds, about the size of a grain of rice, are either permanently or temporarily implanted into the tumor site. There are two types of brachytherapy, high dose rate (HDR) and low dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy.

Precision Cancer Care at American Oncology Institute

Treatment options may consist of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or any combination of these treatments depending on the stage of the cancer. In recent years, cancer treatment and therapies have progressed significantly. Countless patients have been cured, while others’ lives have been extended far longer than possible with these advanced treatment options.
American Oncology Institute provides comprehensive cancer management powered by a multi-disciplinary team, clinical excellence, world class technology as well as international protocols. AOI stands at the forefront of treatment excellence offering precision cancer care for all types of cancers for all age groups and genders.