At California Pacific Medical Center’s certified cancer center, radiation oncologists use a range of radiation therapies to destroy cancer cells and spare healthy tissue. Your cancer care team will work with you to choose the right treatment method based on your cancer type and health situation. Here are some of the radiation therapy options available.
External Beam Therapy
A beam or beams of high-energy X-rays generated by a linear accelerator are delivered to the tumor, killing the cancer cells while sparing the surrounding normal tissue. Medical images, including X-ray, MRI, CT and PET, are used to design your care plan. A variety of technologies shape the treatment beam, enabling a higher-energy dose to be safely delivered.
- 3D Conformal Therapy — Delivers a radiation dose that is shaped to conform to the tumor and avoid healthy tissue.
- Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) — Provides precise targeting with frequent imaging when the tumor is likely to move (lung or prostate) or is near critical organs.
- Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) — Delivers radiation in hundreds of segments, focusing specifically on the shape of the tumor.
- TrueBeam® Radiotherapy System — Powered by Novalis Technology, TrueBeam delivers image-guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery that can treat cancer anywhere in the body. By enhancing safety and precision, TrueBeam reduces the amount of operations needed to expedite patients to the recovery process.
- Varian RapidArc® and Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT) — Delivers radiation in a 360-degree rotation around the patient.
Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS)
High-energy radiation beams replace scalpels in SRS, used to treat small brain tumors that can’t be removed with surgery or that require extreme precision. When used to treat body tumors in the lung, liver, prostate and spine, SRS is called stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT). SRS and SBRT machines use robotics and stabilizing devices to prevent patient movement and ensure precise targeting. With our Exac Trac Stereotactic Ablative Brain Radiation (SABR) Knife, most patients are in and out of the treatment room within 15 to 25 minutes and in one to five treatment sessions.
For some cancers, the best treatment is to place the radiation source in or near the tumor, called brachytherapy. A radioactive source is placed in a very small container, or implant, and delivered using a catheter or other device.
Intraoperative Radiotherapy (IORT)
Some patients with bile duct, breast, colorectal, ovarian, pancreatic and spinal cancer can receive a concentrated dose of radiation to the surgical site after a tumor has been removed. This may prevent the inconvenience of returning for radiation therapy treatments following surgery.
CPMC is a certified Optune treatment center. Used for aggressive brain cancer, Optune allows sustained treatment over the course of the day using a wearable device. You may be able to walk around, take a trip or maintain your daily routine during treatment. It is given with the chemotherapy drug temozolomide following standard treatments.