Researchers have been developing many new methods of treating cancer in recent years, but radiation therapy still is one of the best ways to prevent many types of cancer from recurring. It is a highly targeted and effective way to destroy cancer cells. At Columbus Cancer Care, we use radiation therapy to treat:
We use stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) to treat certain brain tumors. SRS delivers a high dose of radiation in a single treatment. This radiation dose has such a dramatic effect to the treatment area that the changes are considered "surgical." We achieve the surgical precision using 3-D computer planning and a head stabilizing device, minimizing radiation to healthy brain tissue.
We use stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) to treat very small tumors, delivering a high dose of radiation in a short amount of time. We must use extreme precision because treatment volumes are very small, and treatment is completed in one to five days rather than over several weeks. The advantages of SBRT include less treatment time, fewer effects on nearby organs and, in some cases, better cancer control rates. We commonly use SBRT for lung, liver, spine, and brain cancer.
Sometimes, tumors move during radiation treatment. When we use 4-D treatment planning, also known as "gating," we can track tumor movement during breathing. This is especially useful for tumors in or near the lungs. By following the tumor motion during breathing, we can more accurately "hit a moving target," which gives us great accuracy and means we will be exposing less normal tissue to radiation.
Image-guided radiation therapy combines imaging — such as computed tomography (CT) scans — with radiation therapy during each treatment session. This allows your radiation therapy treatment team to confirm and track movement of the tumor at the time of treatment and make fine adjustments to your position — increasing the precision of your therapy and minimizing the risk of side effects.
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is a type of cancer treatment that uses advanced computer programs to calculate and deliver radiation directly to cancer. IMRT uses several beam angles, and radiation dose is varied in strength across the target volume. The goal of IMRT is to conform the radiation dose to the target, and to avoid or reduce exposure of healthy tissue to limit the side effects of treatment.
TomoTherapy is a form of image-guided radiation therapy that provides 3-D images before each treatment. Because of its accuracy, we use it to treat tumors that are hard to reach or next to vital organs.