Radiation Therapy Overview
Radiation therapy is the use of radiation to treat a variety of medical conditions, especially cancer. It is often used following cancer surgery or in addition to chemotherapy.
Radiation treatment may be given by means of machines that produce high energy X-rays or electrons (negatively charged particles). Depending on the location and type of treatment, radioactive materials may be implanted directly in the tumor or introduced through tubes placed in the specific site of interest.
Lahey’s Department of Radiation Oncology is known for the development and use of specialized procedures in the treatment of cancers. These include the rotational therapy technique and special methods for protecting non-diseased tissue during treatment.
Lahey’s Department of Radiation Oncology provides a wide range of specialized therapy:
- We have an extensive brachytherapy program for the treatment of prostate cancer. In this procedure, we either utilize radioactive “seeds” permanently implanted in the tumor or a “high dose rate” radioactive source technique inserted one time in the tumor over a 24-hour period.
- Stereotactic radiosurgery is available for intercranial (brain) and extracranial (body) treatment of tumors. Through stereotactic radiosurgery, highly focused radiation is directed at the tumor by multiple rotational beams to deliver precise radiation treatments that minimize the impact on adjacent healthy tissue.
- Three-dimensional treatment simulation uses CT imaging or CT imaging enhanced fusion technology with clinical input from PET or MRI imaging to precisely map the tumor location so that radiation beams can be “shaped” to provide highly targeted, optimal treatment to the tumor site.
Specialized Technologies and Services
- Three dual energy linear accelerators, including the Varian Trilogy, Varian 21EX and Varian 2100; capabilities include: intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) and stereotactic radiotherapy/radiosurgery (SRS)
- Clinac 6/100 radiotherapy unit
- GE LightSpeed RT 4 CT simulator
- Ximatron Simulator
- GammaMed Plus system for high-dose, short-term brachytherapy
- ADAC treatment planning system
- RSA X-Knife fractional stereotactic radiosurgery program
- GammaMed high-dose-rate afterloading brachytherapy program for prostate cancer
- I-125 seed implant program for prostate cancer
- Intracavitary and interstitial brachytherapy
- Techniques of electron irradiation of the body’s skin surface for the treatment of widespread skin malignancies
- Three-dimensional conformal treatment planning