Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and stop them from spreading. Doctors who specialize in delivering radiation therapy are called radiation oncologists. The field is called radiation oncology.
St. Peter’s Approach to Radiation Oncology
St. Peter’s Health relies on a specially trained team for delivery of radiation therapy. This team includes the radiation oncologist, a medical physicist, three radiation therapists, a radiation therapy nurse, and a dosimetrist.
Our goal is to provide you with the most effective level of radiation needed to treat your cancer, while minimizing damage to healthy tissue.
Types of Radiation Therapy
Your doctors will recommend the form of radiation therapy that will be most effective for your situation.
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
- IMRT at St. Peter’s uses the computer-controlled linear accelerator Varian TrueBeam to deliver precise radiation doses to a cancerous tumor or specific areas within the tumor.
- Our radiation therapists carefully plan your treatment by using 3–D computed tomography (CT) images of your tumor.
- The radiation dose is then designed to conform to the 3–D shape of the tumor by modulating—or controlling—the intensity of the radiation beam.
- This control focuses a higher radiation dose to the tumor while minimizing radiation exposure to surrounding normal tissues.
Cancers typically treated with IMRT at St. Peter’s Health: Lung cancer; prostate cancer; head and neck cancers
Brachytherapy is a form of internal radiation. With brachytherapy, radioactive material is sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters and placed directly into or near a tumor.
Cancers typically treated with brachytherapy at St. Peter’s Health: Prostate cancer
Stereotactic radiosurgery is a form of external radiation therapy used to shrink tissue in the brain, head and neck. Even though it has “surgery” in the name, it is a nonsurgical form of radiation therapy. At St. Peter’s, we use Varian TrueBeam to deliver stereotactic radiosurgery.
Cancers typically treated with stereotactic radiosurgery at St. Peter’s Health: Brain tumors
Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy
When stereotactic radiosurgery is used to treat tumors in the body (instead of the brain), it is called stereotactic body radiotherapy, or SBRT. At St. Peter’s, we use Varian TrueBeam to deliver stereotactic body radiotherapy.
Cancers typically treated with stereotactic body radiotherapy at St. Peter’s Health: Lung cancer
Molecular Radiotherapy (Unsealed source therapy)