Clinical Radiation Oncology

The Department of Radiation Oncology at the Mays Cancer Center, combines clinical expertise, compassionate care, and advanced radiation therapies to deliver the safest, most effective treatments for cancer and benign tumors.

In order to provide the best possible care to the patient, the patient’s evaluation and treatment is managed by members of individual multidisciplinary clinical cancer programs that are organized by cancer diagnosis. These include cancers of the:

  • Breast
  • Central nervous system
  • Head & Neck
  • Gastrointestinal tract
  • Genitourinary tract
  • Gynecologic
  • Thoracic
  • Pediatric
  • Bone & soft tissue sarcomas
  • Lymphatic system
  • Skull base tumors
  • Ophthalmic tumors

The participation of patients in these multidisciplinary programs assures patient access to national, multi-institutional clinical trials as well as those developed and exclusively offered at the Mays Cancer Center.

Treatment Delivery Technologies

Located on the second floor of the Grossman building at the Mays Cancer Center, our radiation oncology facility houses:

  • Five linear accelerators
  • Two CT simulators, dedicated to radiation treatment planning
  • A brachytherapy suite dedicated to the planning and delivery of High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy

Our linear accelerators are matched in their capabilities and energies of the radiation beams. This allows us to have redundancy between our treatment units, and transfer patients seamlessly between treatment vaults to optimize both treatment delivery and scheduling. Special radiation technologies available within the scope of the program include:

  • Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
    Delivers varying doses of radiation at the same time to different parts of the treatment area
  • Stereotactic radiation surgery and fractionated stereotactic therapy
    A procedure that can precisely aim an intense dose of radiation into a targeted abnormality
  • Respiratory gated therapy
    Delivers the radiation only in certain parts of the breathing cycle, to optimize delivery both to target and critical organs that are subject to respiratory motion.
  • High dose rate brachytherapy
    Internal radiation source is placed inside your body. These implants, which hold the source of the radiation, can be thin wires, plastic tubes, capsules or seeds.
  • Image guided therapy
    Using conventional x-ray imaging with the Brainlab Exactrac system or with the on-board CT available in all our units, we can image the patient before and during treatment, to ensure a precise positioning of the tumor against the radiation delivery beam
  • Surface imaging guided therapy
    Using a stereoscopic system of three special cameras, we can create a computer model of the surface of the patient which is then used to both position but also monitor the patient during treatment.

The majority of radiation oncology patients receive treatments once per day five days per week. The radiation oncologist determines the total number of treatments which are delivered by licensed radiation therapists.