Equipment and Technology
CT Simulator: A CT scanner that utilizes a special treatment planning program. A series of CT scans are taken through the area that needs to be treated. The tumor volume can be visualized in the axial (top), sagital (side) and coronal (frontal) views. The physician is then able to customize the treatments fields to give the appropriate coverage while protecting normal tissue. The setting of the treatment fields can be performed with or without the patient present.
High Dose Remote Afterloader
Our practice was the first radiation therapy center in the region to offer high dose remote afterloader therapy. The high dose rate remote afterloading unit provides radiation therapy to a localized area. Typically, an applicator or catheter is used to deliver the radioactive source directly to the tumor. This unit provides a method of treating cancer that has not been available in the past.
Traditionally, a radioactive implant would have been performed under general anesthesia and required several days of hospitalization. However, with the HDR, this procedure is performed at our MedStar Franklin Square and Harbor View centers on an outpatient basis. Thus, both the risk of general anesthesia and the cost of an extended hospital visit are avoided.
Implants are the clinical use of encapsulated radioactive sources placed either temporarily or permanently into the tumor and surrounding structures which deliver radiation continuously over an extended period of time. Brachytherapy is used in the management of specific cancer sites where its physical advantage is a superior localization of the dose to the tumor volume. Temporary implants include certain gynecological malignancies with treatments usually one to three days in duration in a hospital setting. Permanent implants include certain prostate cancers and are often done as an outpatient procedure.
Another form of brachytherapy is prostate seed therapy. Read below for details.
Prostate Seed Therapy
This form of brachytherapy utilizes tiny radioactive pellets, which are smaller than a grain of rice. These radioactive pellets are used as treatment for prostate cancer. The procedure involves inserting needles directly into the prostate to get as close to the cancerous cells as possible. These needles implant "seeds" next to the tumor. With this procedure, the radiation dose to the tumor volume is maximized and the radiation dose delivered to the surrounding tissue is maintained at much lower levels.
Continue reading about prostate seed therapy »
The MammoSite Radiation Therapy System
Since 2002, thousands of women have opted for the benefits of MammoSite. The MammoSite Radiation Therapy System is the most widely used method of partial breast irradiation that works by delivering radiation from inside the breast directly to the tissue where cancer is most likely to recur. The MammoSite Radiation Therapy System facilitates the delivery of partial breast irradiation (PBI). MammoSite, which delivers targeted radiation, is now considered the technology of choice since conformity and adjacent normal tissue sparing can be optimized simultaneously.
Continue reading about MammoSite »
We want to protect you from unnecessary radiation. Therefore, we utilize essential safeguards to ensure that significant radiation is applied only to a specific area. For example, our machines are fully shielded and comply with rigorous state and federal safety regulations. Safeguards built into the machines limit the radiation to the field marked by the treatment team.
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