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Radiation Oncology

Radiation therapy is a carefully targeted and regulated x-ray treatment that damages or destroys cancer cells in the body. Your radiation oncologist will oversee your radiation therapy treatments and collaborate with other members of the radiation therapy team to develop your treatment plan and ensure accurate delivery of your personalized treatment plan. Your radiation oncologist will also work closely with your team of doctors to maximize the radiation’s effectiveness throughout your entire course of cancer treatment before, during and after radiation therapy.

Breath Hold Technique

The Cancer Center offers an innovative technique for delivering even safer treatments to many breast cancer patients. The breath hold technique is based on research aimed at improving radiation therapy treatment for women with left-sided breast cancer, as well as for patients with a variety of other cancers. This technique helps to improve treatment efficiency while also reducing damage to healthy tissues. Click here to learn more.

Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)

This procedure uses computer imaging to generate a picture of the tumor to help guide the radiation beam during treatments. The images are created using CT, ultrasound, x-ray or other imaging techniques and allows for more precise alignment of radiation beams for treatment. IGRT makes radiation therapy more accurate and can reduce damage to healthy tissues.

Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)

This type of radiation therapy is carefully planned using three-dimensional computer-generated images to show the size and shape of the tumor. The radiation beams are then targeted at the tumor from multiple angles at varying intensities. This type of radiation therapy allows for more precise targeting of the tumor and reduces the damage to healthy tissues near the tumor.

Volumetric-Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT)

VMAT is one of the most advanced methods of delivering IMRT treatment. The machine rotates in real time while continuously delivering high-dose, focused radiation beams. This method allows for more accurate targeting of the tumor and shorter treatment times.

External Beam Radiation Therapy

In this radiation delivery technique, radiation beams are delivered from outside of the patient’s body and targeted at the tumor site. The method helps with targeting precision and reducing damage to healthy tissues.

  • Photon Therapy – Photon beams are particles used to treat deep-seated tumors, such as in prostate cancer.
  • Electron Therapy – Electron beams are particles used to treat superficial or shallow tumors nearer to the surface of the body, such as skin cancer.

Brachytherapy

In Brachytherapy, radioactive sources are placed within the patient’s body in effort to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. This allows for a highly localized dose of radiation with less damage to surrounding tissues. These source implants can be temporary or permanent depending on the type of tumor being treated.

  • High Dose Rate (HDR)

Special Procedures:

  • Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) – A type of ablative, external radiation therapy that delivers extremely precise doses of radiation to cancer cells while minimizing damage to healthy tissues. It involves the use of sophisticated image guidance that pinpoints the exact three-dimensional location of a tumor so that the radiation can be more precisely delivered to cancer cells. SBRT is typically used to treat small, early-stage lung cancer and pancreatic cancer, or cancers that have spread to the lung, liver, adrenal gland, or spine.

Elekta Infinity

Our radiation oncology team treats patients with state-of-the-art technology, including the Elekta Infinity linear accelerator. The Infinity enables faster, more accurate treatments. This is a radiation treatment system with volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT), an advanced intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) technique that enables delivery of high doses of radiation to the tumor while minimizing effects on surrounding normal tissues. Another feature included is image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT).

The Infinity is one of the most advanced linear accelerators available, with tools that allow us to personalize treatment and support the accuracy of its delivery. The use of Infinity is supported by sophisticated treatment planning stations, physics and dosimetry quality assurance instrumentation and software. Adjacent to the radiation therapy department is a state-of-the-art positron emission tomography and computed tomography (PET/CT) scanner.

RADIATION ONCOLOGISTS AT MARY BIRD PERKINS CANCER CENTER IN HOUMA: