Radiation therapy involves the use of high energy x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons, electrons and other sources to destroy tumor cells. Radiation therapy injures or destroys cells in the target area by damaging their genetic material, halting the ability of these cells to continue to grow and divide.
Roper St. Francis Cancer Care utilizes the most advanced radiologic technology, including external-beam radiation therapy and brachytherapy (the placement of radioactive materials in the body near cancer cells).
Types of Radiation Therapy
Three-Dimensional (3-D) Conformal Radiation Therapy
This form of radiation uses computer technology to more precisely target a tumor with radiation beams. Using information from a CT, MRI, or PET scans, special computer programs design radiation beams that “conform” to the shape of the tumor.
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
IMRT uses advanced computer software to divide each radiation beam into multiple rays or beamlets, assigning different intensities to individual rays and focusing radiation on cancer cells and away from surrounding tissue and organs. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) officially credentialed Roper St. Francis Healthcare on April 14, 2004, to deliver any IMRT Protocol.
Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
IGRT uses real time x-ray technology to ensure that the target is in the same position every treatment session. This technology is integrated with automated repositioning features allowing radiation therapists to visualize and correct for patient movement.
- High Dose Rate Brachytherapy (HDR) uses equipment with a single radioactive source left in place for 10 to 20 minutes at a time utilizing a single- or multi-channel catheter. Roper St. Francis Cancer Care offers Partial Breast Irradiation (PBI), also known as Mammosite treatments, as well as HDR for gynecologic cancers. PBI treatments occur twice a day for five days and HDR treatments occur once a week for two to five weeks.
- Low-dose Rate (LDR) implants for gynecologic cancers entails radioactive material staying in place for one to seven days.
- With Permanent Implants, small radioactive sources or seeds are surgically placed by catheters or needles. We offer this treatment for prostate cancers.
- Other options - The Roper St. Francis Cancer Care also uses radioactive drugs to treat certain cancers, such as thyroid cancer or to treat the pain caused by the spread of cancer to the bone.
Learn more about the advances in therapeutic radiology.