Radiation Therapy provided close to home by an expert team of compassionate, dedicated professionals using the most advanced technology
Information for Radiation Therapy Patients
Radiation Therapy Planning and Treatment
Radiation therapy is an essential part of many cancer treatment plans. One of the most important components of radiation therapy involves the complex process of treatment planning. Our board certified radiation oncologists, medical physicist and dosimetrist use computed tomography scans and sophisticated computer programs to create three-dimensional images of the tumor, including the size, shape and location. Equipped with this information, the radiation therapy team determines the amount of radiation (dose) and the best way to focus the radiation at the cancer cells. Once treatment planning is complete, our certified radiation technologists accurately deliver the treatments.
Your treatment team includes radiation oncologists, radiation technologists, oncology nurses, oncology social workers, medical physicist and medical dosimetrist and our receptionist/secretarial staff.
Our Radiation Oncology Team Strives for Rapid Consult to Treatment Time
Cooley Dickinson Hospital has added an Elekta Synergy® S, a state-of-the-art digital linear accelerator with integrated imaging capabilities to the radiation therapy department. It is the first advanced multi-functional linear accelerator with intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT ) and image guided radiation therapy (IGRT ), which enables our clinicians to both image and treat patients in the same frame of reference, at the time of treatment. The result is unmatched clinical confidence, enabling more aggressive treatment of tumors while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue. The Elekta Synergy® S enables our radiation oncologists to perform stereotactic surgery and stereotactic radiotherapy in addition to conventional radiation therapy. Elekta® XVI (X-ray Volume Imaging) technology enables visualization of soft tissue detail in any area of the body. For more information about Elekta, please visit www.elekta.com
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External Beam Radiation Therapy
Conformal Radiation Therapy
Conformal (3D) treatment planning utilizes three-dimensional imaging information to visualize the target and critical structures so that an optimal treatment plan can be designed.
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
Combining the highest level of patient comfort with less side affects than standard radiation therapy, IMRT is a highly accurate radiation instrument that spares normal tissue, allows for superior dose distributions, and is able to treat tumors near critical structures. Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) offers patients the most effective treatment for each type and stage of cancer. IMRT uses small beams to treat a tumor from different directions and with varying intensity, while limiting the radiation dose to surrounding healthy tissue.
Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
IGRT is the most advanced form of radiation therapy available. It enables radiation oncologists to precisely locate and visualize the tumor before each dose is administered while the patient is in the treatment position using radiographic, fluoroscopic or cone beam CT images. Your radiation oncologist may use this information to continuously adapt your treatment program to ensure optimal tumor dose while minimizing the volume of healthy tissue exposed to radiation during treatment on a daily basis.
Stereotactic Radiosurgery and Radiotherapy
Stereotactic Radiosurgery and Radiotherapy involve highly precise alignment of a tumor for high-dose application of radiation in one to five treatments, instead of the many smaller doses given in standard radiation treatment.
Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT)
Elekta Synergy incorporates Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT), an innovative way to deliver radiation treatments that is a significant improvement over existing radiation therapies. With VMAT, the target area is continuously irradiated while the source of the beam rotates around the patient. VMAT technology provides a simultaneous control of the linear accelerator gantry position and speed, the leaves and angle of the multileaf collimator and dose rate. This flexibility enables highly conformal cancer treatments, as well as optimal sparing of the healthy tissue around the target. In addition, VMAT significantly reduces patient treatment times, leading to greater patient comfort and stillness for a more efficient and precise treatment.