Radiation oncology, or radiation therapy, is a cancer treatment in which evolving technology has led to quantum steps in the effectiveness of treatment.
At the Zimmer Cancer Center, radiation oncologists employ these advanced technologies to deliver doses of radiation to cancer cells with greater precision than ever before. The increased precision allows radiation, concentrated in higher doses, to be targeted on the cancer cells while sparing surrounding tissue.
Technology allows doctors to target cancer cells with radiation from outside the body or from within. Aimed and controlled via a linear accelerator, Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) delivers beams of radiation from outside the body with pinpoint precision. Using 3D mapping capability, IMRT technology even allows the beam to follow the exact contours of the tumor.
Brachytherapy involves planting tiny, time-release radioisotopes in the form of seeds in or in around the site affected by cancerous cells. Ultrasound imaging gives doctors the window allowing precise placement of the seeds.