The radiation oncology suite provides a calm and relaxing atmosphere with a beautiful overhead skyscape of trees and sunlight. Some of the services that are provided by the radiation oncology department include 3D conformal radiation therapy, computerized treatment planning, IMRT, IGRT, electron, and external beam radiation therapy. Patients are treated by very knowledgeable staff with over 100 years of combined radiation oncology experience.
Approximately 200 cancer patients receive radiation therapy each year. The goal of radiation therapy is to destroy cancer cells by bombarding them with X rays or electrons. The radiation damages the cancer cells, which later die and are sloughed off by the body. Healthy cells that are exposed to moderate amounts of radiation have the ability to repair themselves and survive. The challenge that radiation oncologists face in every case is how to deliver enough X rays to destroy the cancer without exceeding the level that the surrounding healthy cells can tolerate.
Solving this problem simply and effectively has been a driving force behind most technological developments that have taken place in radiation therapy over the last several decades. The process begins with simulation and therapy planning.
We use a GE, 4 slice Somatome CT Simulator with Varian’s Eclipse planning software to develop what equals a three dimensional road map of therapy, as well as a 128 slice Phillips Ingenuity CT.
The radiation oncologist joins his expertise with that of the dosimetrist, a physicist and a radiation therapist to create a prescription of therapy that generally requires daily treatments, five days a week for 6 to 8 weeks.
The CLINAC EXd linear accelerator is a dual energy device that can treat a patient from almost any angle with variation in energy intensity and beam size. A 120 leaf, multileaf collimator (MLC) ensures that the energy beam duplicates the shape of the tumor in order to protect healthy tissue surrounding the tumor.