Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) is a cancer treatment that uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. At low doses, radiation is used in x-rays to see inside your body, as with x-rays of your teeth or broken bones.
There are two main types of radiation therapy, external beam and internal.
- The type of cancer
- The size of the tumor
- The tumor’s location in the body
- How close the tumor is to normal tissues that are sensitive to radiation
- Your general health and medical history
- Whether you will have other types of cancer treatment
- Other factors, such as your age and other medical conditions
Inspire Oncology Provides Radiation Oncology specialized services with a holistic, patient focused approach.
Inspire Oncology Services
Radiation Therapy Cancer Treatment
Inspire Oncology provides high-quality services in radiation therapy, delivering the most effective patient outcomes. Our state-of-the-art facilities are equipped with the latest radiation therapy technologies and equipment, which enable our team of oncologists to deliver best-in-class radiation treatments to every patient. We value our relationship with each patient, treat them with the utmost care and compassion, and provide the latest radiation therapies used to treat cancer according to each patient’s unique needs.
The mission of Inspire Oncology is to provide the most advanced, innovative, and quality oncology services in a supportive patient-centric environment. Our team of experienced radiation oncologists is recognized in the industry for their commitment to patient care and excellent track record of performance. We provide cutting-edge care utilizing the latest, safest, and most successful technologies, while continuing to follow research and innovation in the field in order to advance our radiation oncology therapies and other treatments.
What Is Cancer?
Our body is made up of 37 trillion cells all working together to create life. Cancer can develop in any one of these cells.
Normally, human cells grow and divide to form new cells as the body needs them; when cells grow old or become damaged, new cells take their place.
Cancer develops, however, when this orderly process breaks down. Instead of dying, abnormal, old, or damaged cells survive and new cells form when they are not needed. These extra cells can divide without stopping and form tumors, also referred to as cancer. These cancers can be benign or malignant. What is the difference? A cancer that can spread throughout the body is malignant whereas a cancer that does not spread is benign.
How Is Cancer Treated?
Cancer can be treated in one of three ways (surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy) and most often more than one of these treatments is used. Surgery is used when the cancer is localized and can be cut out or resected. Chemotherapy is systemic treatment meaning that it travels all over the body through the bloodstream. It can be administered as a pill, an injection, or an intravenous drip. Radiation therapy is used as a local or regional treatment to target an area of disease. It can be used in both curative intent cases as well as for palliation when a patient has pain in a bone, neurological deficit, airway obstruction, or vascular obstruction.
Our Strengths to Deliver Highest Quality Care and Services
The board-certified radiation oncologists at Inspire Oncology are among the most experienced, competent, and distinguished experts in the field with an exceptional track record of performance. Each member of the team has obtained top qualifications and highly specialized training to treat different types of cancers with high precision and with a goal to achieve improved patient outcomes.
The radiation therapy services at Inspire Oncology combine the capability and experience of our team with advanced technology and equipment. Our facility is equipped with seven types of external radiation therapy technologies to ensure that each patient has access to the most appropriate and targeted treatment tailored to their specific oncologic needs.
Highest Standards of Care
Inspire Oncology services are designed to meet high standards of care and scientific excellence. Our treatment plans are personalized following a detailed patient assessment, where a radiation oncologist will determine the targeted areas of treatment, type of radiation therapy technology, and the optimal dose of radiation to ensure best patient outcomes even for the most complex or rare cancers.
The radiation oncologists at Inspire Oncology have extensive experience treating patients diagnosed with different types of cancers. They work in close coordination as a team to determine the most appropriate radiation oncology care based on their decades of combined experience. The team works with a singular goal of achieving the best patient outcomes possible and makes all decisions with the patient’s best interests at the center.
Inspire Oncology’s team approach extends beyond the radiation therapy clinic as our doctors make it a priority to communicate and collaborate with all of the oncology cancer specialists involved in the care of each patient.
Inspire Oncology is committed to delivering academic and tertiary cancer care in the convenience of the patient’s own community, obviating the need to travel to obtain expert care.
Types of Radiation Oncology Services We Provide
External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT)
External beam radiation therapy is the most commonly used treatment modality in radiation oncology. EBRT involves the use of high-dose radiation with extreme precision to shrink tumors and destroy cancer cells. In this procedure, external beams of radiation are directed into the cancerous tissue and cells inside the patient’s body.
EBRT utilizes a linear accelerator (LINAC) to deliver the precise radiation dose to the targeted area. This equipment adjusts the radiation beam according to the tumor contours so that radiation can be delivered effectively from any angle. The patient will not feel anything during the treatment session.
The radiation oncologist will design and monitor the EBRT with a goal to destroy the cancer cells with high precision, while minimizing any damage to the surrounding healthy cells. EBRT treatments are typically administered on an outpatient basis, five days a week, spread over a period of several weeks, depending on the patient’s specific oncologic needs.
Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy is an advanced form of radiation treatment that utilizes computer-controlled LINAC to destroy cancerous cells. IMRT involves a complex technique to manipulate proton and photon beams of radiation to conform to the tumor shape.
The tumor is irradiated with extreme precision utilizing multiple tiny proton or photon beams of differing (modulated) intensities. The radiation oncologist will precisely control each beam’s radiation intensity as the beam shape continues to adjust throughout the treatment.
With IMRT, it is possible to minimize the ratio of normal tissue dose to tumor dose, which allows for the delivery of higher and more effective doses of radiation to the tumor with relatively lower side effects than traditional radiation therapy techniques. Considering the complexity of IMRT, careful planning and additional safety checks should be applied before the treatment begins.
Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT)
Volumetric modulated arc therapy distinguishes itself from other radiation therapies on two fronts: speed and precision. The radiation oncologist will be able to maintain the focus on irradiating the tumor with extreme precision to kill cancer cells, while surrounding healthy tissue remains mostly unharmed.
Each treatment session with VMAT is usually completed in about two minutes or less. Apart from the delivery accuracy of the radiation dose, the faster treatment with VMAT helps improve patient comfort and convenience. The therapy utilizes W-rays (photon beams) generated with a LINAC. Tiny beams of varying intensity are targeted at the cancerous area and then rotated 360 degrees so that the tumor is attacked in a comprehensive, three-dimensional way.
Photon beams in VMAT are usually as small as 2.5 x 5 mm, which is no more than the size of a pencil tip. This allows for high-precision treatment delivery in specific radiation doses (determined using 3D diagnostic images) to achieve targeted results.
Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
Image-guided radiation therapy involves the use of advanced imaging technology with an aim to improve treatment accuracy. IGRT is often recommended for the treatment of tumors in body areas that move, like the lungs.
The IGRT equipment is fitted with imaging machines to enable the radiation oncologist to capture images of the tumor before and during the therapy session. They will compare these images with the pre-treatment images obtained during the simulation session (which is a part of the treatment plan).
This comparison allows the doctor to adjust the radiation beams or the patient’s position to target the tumor more precisely. Depending on the patient’s unique oncologic needs, the IGRT procedure may sometimes involve the use of MRI, CT scan, ultrasound, fiducial markers, bone structure x-rays, 3D body surface mapping, colored tattoos on the skin, or electronic transponders.
Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT)
Stereotactic body radiation therapy is a body radiotherapy that may generally require one to five treatment sessions. Unlike stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), which targets a brain tumor, SBRT is performed on the body. The procedure is also sometimes known as stereotactic ablative radiation therapy or SABRT.
The SBRT procedure makes use of multiple high precision beams of radiation to target tumors and certain other conditions all over the body. Some of the tumors commonly treated with SBRT include ones located in the liver, lungs, neck, spine, lymph nodes, and/or other soft tissues.
SBRT involves 3D imaging technology to guide high-dose radiation beams in the affected sites in the body. Imaging guidance enables the radiation oncologist to achieve more accurate outcomes with minimal damage to the healthy tissue. Similar to every other form of radiation therapy, SBRT damages the DNA of the cancerous cells, rendering them unable to multiply and eventually shrinking the tumor.
Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS)
Stereotactic radiosurgery is a highly precise non-surgical radiation therapy used to target small tumors in the brain and other brain-related functional abnormalities. The brain is the most sensitive and critically important organ. Cranial SRS is used because it can deliver the radiation beams accurately within 1 to 2 mm, while preserving the surrounding healthy brain tissue.
SRS is a key alternative to invasive surgery, particularly when surgical removal of a brain tumor is not advised or the patient is unable to undergo the traditional surgery. SRS makes use of 3D computerized imaging to focus the highly concentrated photon beams on the targeted area.
While SRS is generally performed in a single treatment session, sometimes fractionated stereotactic radiosurgery (FSR), also known as staged radiosurgery, may be performed. In this case, the pre-determined radiation dose is divided into multiple smaller doses administered over two to five treatment sessions to remove remaining cancer cells.
High-Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy
Brachytherapy is an internal radiation therapy technique designed to deliver a precise dose of radiation to the affected area by placing the radioactive source right inside the tumor or within the immediate surrounding tissue. As the radioactive source is so localized, the radiation therapy will directly attack the tumor, while minimizing healthy tissue damage.
Brachytherapy is administered using high-dose rate technique, but sometimes a low-dose rate (LDR) technique may be used. An advantage with this therapy is that even if the tumor moves or there is a patient movement during the therapy, the radioactive source will continue to retain its correct position. This radiation therapy can be administered independently or in conjunction with EBRT or other cancer therapies.
Comprehensive Cancer Care With a Full Range of Radiation Oncology Treatments and Services
Inspire Oncology is equipped with the most comprehensive and advanced range of radiation therapy technologies to meet the oncologic needs of patients with different types of cancers. Our radiation therapies are designed to deliver accurate doses with pinpoint precision for the best possible patient outcomes and fewer side effects. To book an appointment with our care team or to get answers to any questions or concerns you may have about radiation oncology, call us at 239-429-0400 or reach us online.