Radiation therapy is one of the main forms of cancer treatment. It can be used alone or in combination with surgery and/or chemotherapy. A sophisticated linear accelerator is used to create a narrow beam of radiation that is carefully aimed to destroy cancer cells while limiting the dose to healthy tissue. Shore Medical Center’s linear accelerator is located in the Cancer Center.
Before initiating radiation therapy, imaging studies are performed to pinpoint the exact location of the cancer. This can be accomplished through traditional X-rays, CT scans, MRI, ultrasound and other studies.
When radiation therapy is required, the treatment planning process typically begins with a CT simulation. This imaging process allows the radiation oncologist to determine the best course of treatment for the patient.
Through 3D conformal radiation therapy, the dose to the tumor can be maximized and still limit the dose of radiation to other organs within the body. If the tumor is adjacent to or wrapped around a normal organ, the radiation oncologist may use Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) or Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) to deliver the radiation.
To further enhance the precision of radiation treatment delivery, image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) is used. This is accomplished through the latest technological addition to Shore Medical Center's linear accelerator. Through the use of an on-board imager (OBI), 2D or 3D images are taken just prior to the patient's treatment. This improves accuracy by compensating for day-to-day movement in the patient's treatment position allowing for even smaller treatment margins.
The Shore Medical Center Radiation Oncology Department is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR). ACR Accreditation ensures that Shore’s program meets the most current and stringent standards in staffing, equipment, quality control and technical capability.