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Advanced Treatments

In addition to a range of standard techniques, including external beam radiation and internal radiation therapy, we offer advanced radiation therapies for the treatment of cancer including:

Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT)
Intraoperative  Radiation Therapy (IORT)  delivers targeted radiation treatment directly to the tumor site in surgery immediately following a lumpectomy.  This new radiation platform can eliminate the need, or reduce the time frame for external beam radiation therapy following surgery with a single 20-30 minute targeted radiation treatment. Delivering a concentrated dose of radiation to the tumor site in surgery can destroy the cancer cells that remain, yet spare normal breast tissue. IORT is not used as a replacement for whole breast radiation therapy, but as a viable treatment alternative for patients meeting specific treatment conditions.

High Dose Rate (HDR) brachytherapy
HDR is one of the latest advances in brachytherapy treatment methods to target tumors confined to a small area with intense, localized doses of radiation. A high-intensity radiation source is passed through catheters that are temporarily placed in and near tumors. Deployed by computer, a highly radioactive seed is pushed into each of the catheters. After a series of treatments, the catheters are removed, and there are no radioactive seeds left in the body.

HDR, a leading-edge treatment:

  • Applies a higher radiation dose directly to the tumor while sparing the good tissue and surrounding vital organs
  • No radioactive material left in the body
  • The radiation dose in different regions of the tumor site can be adjusted
  • Successful in treating several cancer types, including prostate, endometrial, uterine, cervical, lung, colon, breast and skin tumors

Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
IMRT is the latest technology for treating tumors. IMRT directs multiple beams of varying intensity to maximize the radiation dose to the tumor while minimizing the radiation dose to benign and healthy tissues. This state-of-the-art technology, usually found only in large medical centers, is conveniently located next door to the hospital in the Center for Cancer Care.

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)
RFA is a minimally invasive treatment for cancer that kills cancer cells by heating and destroying them. Imaging tools such as CT scanning are used to direct a probe to the site of the cancer. From this probe, non-insulated electrodes, which are shaped like prongs, are projected into the tumor. The prongs look like an umbrella with no cover material. The prongs allow the doctor to deliver radio frequency energy to heat and "burn" the cancerous cells. The radiofrequency energy delivers a precise round ball of heat throughout the tumor killing the cancerous cells with little risk to adjacent normal structures. The dead tumor tissue shrinks and slowly forms a scar.

This treatment is primarily used to treat liver cancer, but may also be used to treat cancers of the lung, bone, kidney and soft tissues.

Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT)
Good Shepherd Hospital's Radiation Oncology Department, in conjunction with the Interventional Radiology Department, offers a new non-surgical therapy that is FDA-approved and allows dramatic improvement and control over metastatic colorectal cancer of the liver. The technology employs SIR-Spheres®-biocompatible micro-polymer beads encapsulating radioactive material-to deliver radiation directly and continuously to the tumor site. The spheres are injected via a catheter placed into the artery that supplies blood to the liver, and the radiation is taken up by the diseased sites of the liver.

SIRT, a leading-edge treatment:

  • Delivers up to 40 times more radiation to the tumor than conventional radiotherapy
  • Can treat multiple tumors of different sizes
  • Spares normal tissue and optimally treats the metastatic lesions

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