TUCC is one of the only centers in the U.S. to offer on site, comprehensive radiation therapy for urologic cancers. Our radiation oncologist, Eric Gross, M.D. is board certified in radiation oncology and highly trained in the delivery of radiation to treat urologic cancers.
TUCC utilizes intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), image guided radiation therapy (IGRT), 3-D conformal planning and prostate brachytherapy seed implantation treatment methods for patients diagnosed with urologic cancers.
Radiation therapy can be used as a primary treatment option for prostate and bladder cancers or as an additional form of treatment following surgery in select patients. Generally, outcomes for patients electing to pursue radiation therapy as the primary treatment for prostate cancer are comparable to surgery or radical prostatectomy. Radiation therapy may also be used to control pain associated with cancer that has spread to other areas.
External beam radiation therapy utilizes a linear accelerator to generate a beam of radiation that is directed toward the desired treatment area.
Treatment planning and delivery techniques such as 3-D conformal planning and intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), can be utilized to conform the dose of radiation to the planned treatment area. This allows higher doses to be administered to desired treatment areas and reduces the risk of exposure to surrounding normal tissues. Both techniques allow for better control of the radiation beam to the tumor with reduced side effects.
Studies have shown that the prostate can change position depending on the volumes of the bladder and rectum. With image guided radiation therapy (IGRT), metallic markers are inserted into the prostate so that their position can be visualized on a daily basis. Daily assessment of the markers and subsequent adjustments enable therapists to deliver more accurate radiation treatments. This reduces the risk of radiation exposure to normal tissues and side effects.
In contrast to external beam radiation, brachytherapy is a form of radiation therapy administered over a short distance. In select prostate cancer patients, radioactive seeds may be implanted into the prostate. As they decay, radiation is released. The radiation dose is determined by the seed characteristics, the number of seeds implanted and the distribution of the seeds. The seeds remain in the prostate after the radiation dose is released. A combination of brachytherapy and external beam radiation therapy may be used in select patients.
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For more information on radiation therapy at TUCC, please call 303.825.TUCC (8822) or Contact Us today.