Radiation Oncology Department
The John Theurer Cancer Center's Radiation Oncology Department provides all of the most advanced radiation therapy treatment methods that are available today.
Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy, penetrating radiation, which is utilized to shrink tumors and kill cancer cells. It is delivered using a machine called a linear accelerator. Radiation therapy can be given in either two forms: externally or internally. During external therapy, the linear accelerator directs the high-energy X-rays or particles at the cancer and the normal tissue surrounding it. During internal radiotherapy, also known as brachytherapy, implantable devices are inserted inside the body to deliver a concentrated dose of radiation directly to the tumor or body cavity.
The Radiation Oncology Department offers a dedicated team of on-site radiation oncologists who provide disease-specific expertise. They are on the cutting edge in the development and use of organ preservation therapies. They are charged with prescribing the appropriate treatment and type of machine based on the type of radiation and energy required to treat the area. Radiation treatments are delivered by a NJ licensed and board certified radiation therapist.
The different types of radiation therapy available at The John Theurer Cancer Center include:
- TomoTherapy for prostate cancer and head and neck cancers;
- TrueBeam - Varian Medical Systems latest linear accelerator;
- RapidArc - Volumetric arc based radiation therapy for tissue sparing;
- Intensity modulated radiation therapy for a variety of cancers;
- Image guided radiation therapy for a variety of cancers;
- Brachytherapy, both seed implants (low-dose-rate) and high-dose-rate treatments for a variety of cancers, including prostate, gynecologic, and head and neck cancers;
- 3-D conformal radiation therapy for a variety of cancers;
- Partial breast irradiation using Contura® and MammoSite® targeted radiation therapy, which reduces treatment from six weeks external beam radiation treatments to five days Brachytherapy for many patients;
- Non-invasive, same-day XKnife stereotactic radiosurgery at the medical center's Institute for Radiosurgery, which is used to treat malignant and benign tumors of the brain and other parts of the head;
The radiation oncology's team includes board-certified radiation oncologists, physicists, technologists, nurses, and support staff. The department also has licensed social workers and registered dietitians to aid patients who are undergoing radiation therapy with psychosocial issues, referrals to community services, and nutrition counseling to help patients cope with changes in diet, appetite, and side effects that may occur during radiation therapy.