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Radiation Therapy at DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital Cancer Center Services
Sinai-Grace Hospital’s board-certified radiation oncologists provide leading-edge treatment for a wide range of cancers. In addition to our expert care, we offer the latest radiation therapy technology, including the True Beam™ linear accelerator. Our other advanced treatments include Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), which allows radiation amounts to be adjusted during treatment to spare close-by normal tissue and permits increased doses of radiation to the tumor. We offer BrainLAB Stereotactic Radio Surgery, a nonsurgical form of radiation which allows for a high degree of precision. We also use a Multi-Leaf Collimator (MLC) that allows metal "fingers,” controlled by a computer, to filter beams of radiation in a precise pattern for the most effective results. Sinai-Grace Hospital radiation oncologists treat many cancers including:
Your radiation oncologist and the radiation therapy team will work closely with your other Sinai-Grace cancer doctors before, during and after your radiation treatments to coordinate your care and provide the safest and most effective treatments available.
What is radiation therapy used for?
Radiation therapy, also called radiotherapy, is used to cure, stop, or slow the growth of cancer. When a cure is not possible, radiation may be used to shrink cancer tumors in order to help reduce pain or problems caused by cancer. For example, it can be used to shrink a tumor that is preventing a patient from eating or swallowing.
How is radiation therapy given to patients?
Radiation therapy can come from three sources. The first source is from an external-beam outside the body that is aimed at the cancer cells. For example, this is how the True Beam™ linear accelerator works. The second source is internal when radioactive material is placed inside the body near cancer cells. Internal radiation therapy is called brachytherapy. A third source is systemic radiation therapy. Systemic radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance given by mouth or into a vein that travels in the blood to tissues throughout the body.
Radiation therapy can damage normal cells as well as cancer cells. Therefore, your Sinai-Grace Hospital radiation oncology team will carefully plan your treatment to minimize side effects. The radiation oncologist determines the dosage and scheduling of treatments, manages side effects, and all other aspects of your radiation therapy. The type of radiation therapy prescribed by a radiation oncologist depends on many factors, including:
The type of cancer.
The size of the cancer.
The cancer’s location in the body.
How close the cancer is to normal tissues that are sensitive to radiation.
How far into the body the radiation needs to travel.
Close and comfortable care
Radiation therapy treatments are often prescribed once a day for anywhere from two to ten weeks. The close, convenient care at Sinai-Grace offers many advantages in addition to the newest technology. You’ll benefit from onsite free parking, pleasant surroundings and compassionate caregivers who will make you and your family as comfortable as possible during your course of treatment.
TrueBeam™ linear accelerator advances radiation therapy
An advanced cancer treatment system, the TrueBeam™ linear accelerator, is available at Sinai-Grace Hospital. This external-beam radiation technology pinpoints and treats small tumors with great accuracy and reduced side effects for normal tissue.
The system’s three-dimensional imaging targets the tumor precisely while requiring 60 percent less time, so the patient is exposed to a lower dose of x-rays than with previous radiation therapy. In addition, treatment times are shorter--in some cases only a few minutes, compared to 15 minutes for previous radiation therapy.
The advantages of TrueBeam™ include:
Better focus to pinpoint the cancer cells
Decreases the duration and frequency of radiation therapy sessions
Increased sensitivity level enables physicians to treat a tumor inside a continuously moving organ with a high accuracy.
The TrueBeam™ treats most solid tumors and soon will provide stereotactic body radiation, a highly specialized treatment for patients with a solitary brain or lung tumor.
BrainLAB Stereotactic Radio Surgery (SRS)
Sinai-Grace Hospital also uses BrainLAB Stereotactic Radio Surgery (SRS) to treat cancers of the brain that require a high degree of precision. It is a nonsurgical, highly precise form of radiation therapy. It carries the advantages of surgery without being invasive.
A few days before treatment, the patient undergoes a MRI scan to determine the location and size of the treatment area. On the treatment day, a fixed head ring is placed on the patient. This establishes the stereotactic coordinates of the target and allows for an accuracy of immobilization and positioning less than 1mm during image acquisition and treatment.
Our radiation team then performs a CT scan. The radiation oncologist and neurosurgeon use the MRI and CT scans to delineate the target and critical structures. With the help of physicists, a plan is generated in which multiple radiation beams are aligned to hit the radiation target.
Prior to the treatment, the physicist performs quality assurance on the LINAC to assure accuracy of < 1.0mm.
Advantages of the SRS specialized therapy:
Does not require an incision
Very little risk of infection
Alternative for patients who are not candidates for surgery
Total radiation treatment is delivered in one day rather than the typical two to eight weeks
For more information about True Beam™ linear accelerator or radiation therapy at DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital, please call 1-800-DMC-2500.