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Radiation therapy is a cornerstone of treatment for many types of cancer and select benign (noncancerous) conditions. NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital is a proud home to one of the most comprehensive radiation oncology programs in the region. The latest radiation therapy technologies are available right here in your community, in Brooklyn. A course of radiation can be lengthy: as many as five days a week for several weeks. Fortunately for Brooklyn residents, they do not need to travel far from home to receive this treatment.
Your Treatment Team
Your radiation therapy course is directed by a radiation oncologist, a doctor who has completed highly specialized training in oncology and the delivery of therapeutic radiation. Your radiation oncologist collaborates closely with medical, surgical, and gynecologic oncologists, interventional radiologists, pain specialists, dentists, and primary care doctors to deliver multidisciplinary and comprehensive care. Physicists, dosimetrists, technologists, and oncology nurses are also part of your radiation therapy team. We create a highly customized and individualized treatment plan to deliver a potent dose of radiation to the tumor, while also protecting healthy organs such as the heart and lungs.
A Culture of Safety
Our department fosters a culture of safety. We have implemented rigorous quality assurance protocols and are running several quality improvement projects at any given time. All treatment plans are independently reviewed. We continuously monitor our equipment and processes to ensure your treatment is delivered safely and accurately.
Radiation Therapy for a Variety of Conditions
We use radiation therapy to treat a wide range of cancers and benign conditions:
- Prostate cancer
- Breast cancer
- Lung cancer
- Rectal cancer
- Head and neck cancers
- Gynecologic cancers
- Liver cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Spine tumors
- Brain tumors
- Esophageal cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Melanoma and other skin cancers
- Testicular cancer
- Thyroid cancer
- Keloid scars
- Vascular malformations
- Meningiomas and schwannomas
- Pituitary adenomas
The Most Advanced Technologies
The radiation treatments we give today are more targeted than ever before, with technology that enables our doctors to kill tumor tissue precisely while sparing more nearby healthy tissue. The result: we can deliver higher, more effective doses of radiation to kill cancer cells while reducing the side effects that patients may experience. Our radiation oncology program features:
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). We direct radiation beams of specific intensities from a variety of angles to kill cancerous tissue.
- Volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT). The most sophisticated form of IMRT, which allows each radiation treatment to be delivered in a fraction of the time. This advanced technology is particularly well suited for complicated treatment targets.
- Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT). This approach incorporates imaging into your treatment plan to account for changes in tumor size during the course of therapy as well as patient movement, ensuring that the radiation you receive at each visit hits only the tumor as much as possible.
- Brachytherapy. The implantation of radiation-containing sources in or near tumor tissue to kill cancer cells on contact. This approach is used for some people with head and neck cancer, sarcoma, prostate cancer, and gynecologic cancers.
- Radiopharmaceuticals. The use of a medication attached to a radioactive element that is ferried directly to cancer cells, where the radiation is released. This treatment is used for some people with prostate cancer and lymphoma.
- Stereotactic radiation therapy. A single high dose of radiation is directed with pinpoint precision to the brain (stereotactic radiosurgery) or to the lungs, liver, pancreas, or spine (stereotactic body radiotherapy) to destroy small tumors that cannot be surgically removed.
- Prone radiation therapy for breast cancer. With this technique, the patient lies face down while the breast to be treated hangs through an opening in the table. Targeting radiation to the breast in this way spares nearby organs, such as the heart and lungs, from radiation damage.
- Partial breast radiation therapy. For certain women with breast cancer, our advanced treatment techniques allow targeting of a small area of breast tissue rather than the conventional method of treating the entire breast. This approach reduces side effects and helps protect other vital organs, such as the heart and lungs, from exposure to radiation.
- Hypofractionated (short course) radiation therapy. Many patients with breast cancer can receive higher doses of radiation delivered over a shorter time period (about three weeks versus five to six weeks, for example). Your doctor will let you know if this approach is an option for you.
Research and Training
NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist is a site for the NRG Oncology Group, which brings together the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project, the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, and the Gynecologic Oncology Group—each recognized internationally as a leader in cancer research. Through our relationship with Weill Cornell Medicine, we are a member of the academically prestigious Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology. You may have the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial of a promising new treatment. Our hospital also has an ACGME (American College of Graduate Medical Education)-accredited four-year Radiation Oncology Residency Program, as well as physicists and radiobiologists who conduct clinical research. These research and training initiatives ensure that your treatment team stays abreast of the latest advances in the field.