Radiation Therapy

Experienced Radiation Oncologists

Radiation Oncology uses radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. The radiation damages cancer cell DNA so the cell can no longer grow and reproduce. Depending on the type of tumor and the individual case, radiation treatments can be used before surgery to make tumors easier to remove or after surgery to make sure no cancer cells are left behind.

Radiation Techniques

  • External Beam Radiation Therapy, in which the tumor is targeted with high-energy beams
  • Internal Radiation Therapy, or Brachytherapy, in which “seeds” of radioactive material are placed directly inside the body, in and around the tumor
  • Systemic Radiation Therapy, in which a radioactive substance is introduced into the bloodstream and circulates throughout the body

Our radiation oncologists are pioneers and early adopters of techniques that enhance targeting and minimize the dose to healthy tissue.

CT Simulators

CT simulators are used for precision planning of radiation treatments. Our new GE LightSpeed RT CT simulator, which produces thin, clear images for precise tumor delineation, is the first multi-slice CT scanner dedicated to radiotherapy.

Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)

Used in conjunction with external radiation, usually IMRT (below), image-guided radiation therapy uses imaging to target the delivery of radiation to a tumor as specifically as possible. IGRT is used to treat tumors that are close to critical organs and tissues, and tumors in areas of the body that are prone to movement, such as the lungs.

Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)

This high-precision radiotherapy uses computer-controlled linear accelerators to irradiate tumors with precise doses of radiation. IMRT modifies the radiation beam so the radiation dose conforms to the tumor’s three-dimensional shape. Treatment is planned by combining 3D computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerized dose calculations to arrive at a dose intensity pattern that will fit the shape of the tumor.

Linear Accelerators

Linear accelerators interface with computers to create advanced, targeted radiation therapy treatments such as IMRT. MarinHealth has two state-of-the-art linear accelerators, including the Varian TrueBeam™ radiotherapy system, the latest advancement in radiotherapy technology.

Partial Breast Irradiation

Radiation is often performed after lumpectomy surgery. Partial breast irradiation treats only the site of the lumpectomy and the surrounding tissue, to reduce the amount of radiation to the healthy part of the breast.

Respiratory Gating

Pioneered by Radiologists at MarinHealth, this technique protects the heart during irradiation by syncing radiation treatments with the motion of the patient’s breathing.

Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT)

This is a high-dose precision form of radiotherapy best suited to the treatment of small tumors.

Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS)

Stereotactic radiosurgery uses the same techniques as SBRT (above) to treat brain tumors.