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Radiation Oncology Program

Patient Care: Specialized Therapies

Patient Care Overview | The Treament Process | Specialized Therapies

Our radiation oncologists provide specialized state-of-the-art treatments including:

 

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Trilogy. We were the first academic medical program in the region to introduce the fully-integrated Trilogy™ System linear accelerator. This innovative technology allows us to offer stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), the most advanced radiation therapy possible, including pinpoint accuracy and immediate patient imaging on one state-of-the-art machine. Trilogy combines the capabilities of other technologies like Tomotherapy, Cyberknife and Novalis, all in one machine. It allows UMGCC radiation oncologists to deliver higher doses of radiation to tumors in shorter time, while minimizing the damage to surrounding normal tissues and organs. Our Trilogy system has now been further enhanced with RapidArc, a technology innovation that delivers treatment two-to-eight times faster than conventional methods, and AlignRT, a method of 3D-imaging of the body's surface to ensure exact placement of the patient for each treatment.

Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT). SIRT is a non-surgical outpatient therapy used to treat inoperable liver cancer that uses microscopic radioactive spheres, called SIR-Spheres®, to deliver radiation directly to the site of the liver tumors. This unique, targeted therapy spares healthy tissue while delivering up to 40 times more radiation to the liver tumors than would be possible using conventional radiotherapy. (Read a Patient Success Story about this innovative treatment.)

Gamma Knife offers an alternative for many patients for whom traditional brain surgery is not an option. Gamma Knife radiosurgery is recognized world-wide as the preferred treatment for metastatic brain tumors and has proven effective for certain primary brain tumors and arteriovenous malformations. Not a knife in the typical sense of the word, this neuro-surgical instrument is a bladeless "knife" that emits 201 finely focused beams of radiation that intersect precisely at the brain disorder's location.

Prostate seed implants are used to treat patients with early prostate cancer using radioactive seeds implanted under ultrasound guidance. This non-surgical procedure, also known as prostate brachytherapy, takes approximately one hour to complete, and patients are typically able to return to normal activities the next day. UMGCC is the region's leader in prostate seed implants, having performed over 2,000 procedures.

3-D conformal therapy uses a CT scan to view the tumor three dimensionally and targets radiation towards the cancer, while sparing nearby healthy tissue. Protocols and techniques for 3-dimensional conformal radiation therapy are being developed and refined to improve the application and outcomes of radiation therapy.

IMRT (Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy) is a cancer treatment that uses varying beam intensities to send radiation to the tumor site from the most favorable paths. This approach allows higher doses of radiation to be delivered to the tumor, while minimizing damage to surrounding normal structures. University of Maryland experts helped perfect IMRT by developing what is known as Direct Aperture Optimization (DAO). This radiation delivery technique dramatically cuts the treatment time. It also increases patients' comfort and helps ensure they remain still and therefore receive the most effective dose of radiation, precisely at the site of the tumor.

Spatially Fractionated Radiation Therapy, or Grid, can be used to attack larger tumors when traditional radiation therapy fails. The UMGCC is just one of a few places in the country using Grid therapy. Using pencil sized beams, a five to ten times greater dose of radiation is directed at the large tumor.

MammoSite is a targeted internal radiation therapy for patients with early-stage breast cancer who have had lumpectomies. It delivers high-dose radiation directly to the site where the tumor was removed, targeting the area where the cancer would most likely recur and sparing nearby healthy tissue. Read a MammoSite patient success story.

Other specialized services include:


This page was last updated on: August 10, 2010.


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