Avera Cancer Institute is committed to providing the latest technology in radiation oncology treatment. Radiotherapy involves the use of ionizing radiation to kill cancer cells or prevent their spread by permanently damaging their DNA. Different types of radiation may be used for different cancers.
Radiotherapy can be delivered from outside the body through a process called external beam radiation, or from the inside in a process known as brachytherapy. It may be delivered from one direction, or from multiple angles; in a single session, or over several weeks.
A matched pair of ARTISTE™ linear accelerators offer versatility in providing the most basic to the most elegant treatment plans to be carried out. Use of 180 leaves to sculpt around the tumor spares normal tissue. Adaptive Radiation Therapy(ART) tailors treatments according to each patient’s needs.
Among specialized radiation therapy services:
- External Beam Radiation with two ARTISTE™ linear accelerators for faster scheduling
- Brachytherapy, a very targeted radiation technique that involves placing a radioactive seed at an internal location at the tumor site, including high-dose rate and low-dose rate (permanent seed)
- Electron-based IntraOperative Radiation Therapy (IORT)
- Total Body Irradiation (TBI)
- Treatment planning with CT-based 3D imaging and PET/CT fusion
- Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), in which very small beams are aimed at the tumor from many angles. Each beamlet is controlled to bend around healthy tissue. Fiducial markers placed to track the exact location of the tumor allow for more precise targeting.
- Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) with cone beam CT image guidance, in which physicians use image guidance technology to provide precise information on the specific location of the tumor area. With exact targeting, a smaller radiation field can be used, with less effect to healthy surrounding tissue.
- Stereotactic Radiosurgery/Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SRS/SBRT) technology, also known as Versa HD, uses a specialized linear accelerator that delivers very high-dose radiation to target tumors. The procedure is a non-invasive treatment, making treatment for non-surgical candidates a real possibility. The treatments are complete in one to five one-day sessions, rather than the traditional four to six weeks of daily treatments.