Cancer treatment at Methodist University Hospital.
The Radiation Oncology Center at Methodist University Hospital offers cancer treatment with External Beam Radiation Therapy:
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy
- Image-guided radiation therapy
- Volumetric modulated arc therapy
Conventional - Conventional external beam radiation therapy is delivered via two-dimensional beams using a linear accelerator. This therapy mainly consists of a single beam of radiation delivered to the patient from several directions: often front or back, and both sides.
IMRT - Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is an advanced type of high-precision radiation that improves the ability to conform the treatment volume to concave tumor shapes, for example when the tumor is wrapped around a vulnerable structure such as the spinal cord or a major organ or blood vessel.
IGRT - Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) is the process of frequent two and three-dimensional imaging used to direct the radiation beam utilizing the imaging coordinates of the actual radiation treatment plan. The patient and tumor volume is localized in the treatment room guided by specialized imaging tests, such as CT scans, ultrasound or X-rays. This is very useful since tumors can move between treatments due to differences in organ filling or movements while breathing.
SBRT – Stereotactic body radiation therapy is a specially designed coordinate-system that is used for the exact localization of the tumors in the body in order to treat it with limited but highly precise treatment fields. SBRT involves the delivery of a single high dose radiation treatment or a few fractionated radiation treatments (usually up to 5 treatments). A high potent biological dose of radiation is delivered to the tumor, improving the cure rates for the tumor, in a manner previously not achievable by standard conventional radiation therapy.
Prostate Brachytherapy – Prostate brachytherapy is a method of treating prostate cancer that has not spread beyond the prostate gland. Using ultrasound image guidance, permanent radioactive seeds are placed into the prostate via needles inserted through the perineum. Because the seeds are inserted or implanted directly into, or very close to, the tumor, they deliver high doses of radiation to the tumor without affecting the normal healthy tissues around it.
Eyeplaque – Eyeplaque is a special form of radiation therapy which consist of suturing a small metallic object, containing radioisotopes, to the wall of the eye adjacent to the base of the tumor. Once the tumor has received sufficient radiation to destroy the tumor, the plaque is again removed surgically.
Breast Catheter HDR– Breast Catheter HDR or Partial Breast Radiation utilizes the breast radiation catheters to insert small radioactive “seeds” into the breast tissue where the tumor was removed. The seeds are designed to deliver the proper dose of radiation to treat the cavity, as well as the tissue of the surrounding area. In many cases, the use of breast radiation catheters can lessen the treatment time from five to seven weeks down to five days.
Gynecologic HDR – GYN HDR brachytherapy is a method of treating gynecologic cancers. The physician places a special applicator device inside the vagina. A series of radioactive pellets are inserted into the applicator to deliver a three-dimensional dose of radiation. Computer guidance controls how far the pellet goes into the applicator to precisely target the location of tumors, and how long the pellet stays in the applicator to release its radiation dose.