At Precision Cancer Care, we offer several different kinds of external beam radiation therapy. Depending on your cancer, you may receive any of the following types of radiation therapy.
Electron Beam Radiation Therapy
This form of radiation therapy in the form of electrons can be delivered with variable energy depending on the depth of tissue that requires treatment, usually between 1 to 4 cm. This process may require a simulation or immobilization of the body region followed by a CT scan and very small tattoos. These treatments are administered directly to the lesion with appropriate margin, over a course of 15 to 33 treatments, approximately 3-6 weeks (depending on the type of cancer), once per day, lasting 15 minutes, Monday through Friday. Electron therapy treatments are administered using a linear accelerator in a radiation therapy department.
3D Conformal Radiation Therapy
3D conformal radiation therapy is delivered with photons and computer planning and is the primary means by which treatments are delivered today. 3D conformal radiation therapy has been around for approximately 30 years. This process requires immobilization of the body region followed by a CT scan and very small tattoos. The patient’s “simulation CT” scan can then be used by the radiation oncologist to plan the specific radiation beam arrangements to most effectively treat the tumor and cancer risk areas while avoiding all other normal organs. The goal is always to ensure maximal tumor control or cure while protecting the patient’s adjacent organs and healthy tissues from radiation exposure or injury. These treatments are administered once per day, lasting 15 minutes, Monday through Friday. All 3D treatments are administered using a linear accelerator in a radiation therapy department.
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy
Occasionally, a more sophisticated or complex radiation therapy beam arrangement is required to deliver a curative dose of radiation above what traditional 3D conformal therapy can provide. This may occur when a higher dose is needed, we are focusing on an area previously treated, or we are treating a body region that has many organs at risk. IMRT may offer a greater chance of cure and less long-term side effects for certain stages of cancers. Your radiation oncologist will determine whether you would benefit from IMRT.
Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT)
These are the most sophisticated radiation therapy treatments. They are administered in 3-5 sessions of very high dose, delivered to isolated tumors under special circumstances. These treatments are very focused because they result in the death of all cells within the target.
Stereotactic body radiation therapy can be used to treat tumors in the brain or body with effectiveness equal to surgical removal, but without the surgical risks of infection or anesthesia.