Types of Radiation Therapy

Several forms of radiation treatment are available at the Dale and Frances Hughes Cancer Center:

External beam radiation
Patients can receive external beam radiation treatments from one of our linear accelerators. The radiation is beamed into the tumor from outside the body.

The Edge™ Radiosurgery System

The Edge™ is a brand new, minimally invasive technology used to treat a wide range of cancerous and noncancerous tumors throughout the body including those of the lung, brain and spine. The Edge is a state-of-the-art radiation machine optimized to deliver stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), which means fewer treatments with incredible precision and accuracy. Using the combination of high technology imaging and radiation, Edge radiosurgery is capable of delivering higher doses of radiation to destroy cancer cells. There’s no cutting, no anesthesia and no in-hospital stay with this treatment. 

During treatment with Edge, patients lie comfortably for only a few minutes while the machine delivers the precisely targeted radiotherapy in as few as one to five treatments. Most people are able to carry on their daily activities without feeling tired or run down after treatment.

Calypso® Extracranial Tracking

This system, used hand-in-hand with the Edge™ Radiosurgery System, enables radiation oncologists at the Dale and Frances Hughes Cancer Center to accurately track tumors to keep them in the path of the radiation beam at all times.

Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT)

This treatment procedure is similar to stereotactic radiosurgery, except that it targets tumors outside of the central nervous system.


Image-guided, Intensity-modulated Radiation Therapy

Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is used to treat patients with prostate cancer, cancers of the head and neck, and cancer at the base of the skull or parts of the brain, lung, breast and many more sites.  IMRT allows the tumor to be targeted with higher doses of radiation, particularly in the vicinity of critical structures, with greater potential for a cure and greater likelihood of limiting late complications from treatment. The incorporation of image-guided technology with IMRT allows doctors to track tumor position and location while the patient is actually on the treatment table. Image-guided IMRT affords more precise coverage, allowing doctors to respond immediately to any tumor movement and, if necessary, to recalculate the radiation fields during the treatment session.

RapidArc™ Radiotherapy Technology
RapidArc™ radiotherapy technology from Varian Medical Systems represents a new revolution in cancer care. RapidArc enables clinicians to treat some types of cancer with great precision in less than two minutes.

RapidArc is delivered with a medical linear accelerator, which is a large machine that generates high-powered X-rays and rotates around the patient as s/he lies on a treatment couch, delivering the beams from many angles. With RapidArc, the entire treatment is completed with a single rotation of the machine.

RapidArc is a new approach to delivering image-guided, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IG-IMRT). Image guidance improves tumor targeting, and IMRT shapes the radiation dose so that it conforms closely to the three-dimensional shape of the tumor. That means more radiation is delivered to the tumor and less to surrounding healthy tissues.

The treatments are fast. That makes it easier on you.  You don’t have to hold still for long, and you’re in and out in a matter of minutes each day. With RapidArc, IMRT treatments that typically require at least 10 minutes can be completed in less than two minutes.

Stereotactic Radiotherapy
Similar to stereotactic radiosurgery, higher doses of focused radiation are delivered with pinpoint accuracy during a series of treatment sessions that usually last between one to five days. This method of multiple treatments is called "hypo-fractionation." During treatment, intricate immobilization is utilized to help position and limit movement for treatment.

Space OAR® System

The Space OAR® System reduces rectal injury in men receiving prostate cancer radiation therapy by acting as a spacer and pushing the rectum away from the prostate


  • Prostate seed implants
    An advanced form of radiation therapy that uses radioactive seed implants to treat early prostate cancer. In this minimally invasive procedure, doctors use ultrasound-guided needles to insert tiny radioactive seeds (Palladium 103) into the prostate gland. The seeds emit low-energy gamma rays that specifically target cancer cells in the prostate. The seeds lose 90 percent of their radioactivity within a few months following the implant, and within a year they are considered inert or not active.
  • High Dose Radiation
    Given on an outpatient basis, High Dose Radiation (HDR) is used to treat a variety of different types of cancers including lung, gynecologic, breast, bronchial, esophageal, prostate, biliary and head/neck cancers. There have even been successful skin cancer treatment reports. Treatments are generally given in three to ten sessions, lasting five to 20 minutes, once a week. These short courses of high doses maximize the effects of the radiation.
  • Mammosite Contoura, Savi and SenoRx Therapy for Breast Cancer    

This approach uses a catheter balloon inserted into the lumpectomy cavity and radiation is delivered by a high dose rate unit/source.  There is no residual radiation and no need for aftercare or hospitalization. 

  • Low Dose Radiation
    Volume implants
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