- Medical Oncology
- Radiation Oncology
- Surgical Oncology
- Our Team
- Research & Clinical Studies
- Patient Stories
- Contact Us
There are a number of treatments and technologies that skilled radiation oncologists at IU Health Arnett Cancer Services use to treat their patients’ cancer. Each treatment can be personalized to the needs of the patient with the goal of using the minimum treatment necessary to destroy cancerous cells.
Radiation Oncology Treatment Modalities:
Radiation treatment may be used in early-stage cancers to cure the patient. It can be used before surgery to shrink a tumor or after surgery to prevent cancer from coming back almost anywhere within the body. Radiation may also be used to treat pain caused by the cancer. It may be used alone or in a combination with other treatments, such as chemotherapy and surgery. The radiation oncology team uses advanced radiation techniques such as Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) and High-Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy that deliver higher radiation doses to cancer cells while limiting doses to healthy tissue.
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) employs a powerful, advanced computer program to plan a precise dose of radiation in three dimensions, based on individual tumor size, shape and location. IMRT directs radiation at the tumor, and precisely modulates the intensity of pencil-thin beams of radiation. IMRT can treat difficult-to-reach tumors with new levels of accuracy, such as tumors in the head, neck, prostate, lung, pancreas and brain. IMRT is useful to treat patients who previously have had conventional radiation therapy and whose tumors have come back.
High-Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy
HDR Brachytherapy delivers radiation directly to the tumors and, in many cases, is an effective alternative to conventional surgery. The treatment is usually administered over only a few days with very little discomfort to the patient. For many breast cancer patients, HDR can treat early-stage breast cancers, eliminating the need for six weeks of conventional whole-breast treatment. Less radiation reaches the lungs and heart compared to that which is released during traditional external beam radiation treatments. HDR is an effective alternative to surgical prostate removal in the treatment of prostate cancer and offers a survival rate similar to radical prostatectomy. For active men who want to return to a normal life after treatment, HDR is a very attractive treatment option.
MammoSite Radiation Therapy System (RTS)
MammoSite RTS delivers radiation from inside the lumpectomy cavity over a course of four to five days. The MammoSite device is a balloon catheter that is inserted into the cavity created by a lumpectomy (the surgical removal of a breast tumor). The device targets radiation to the area where tumors are most likely to recur, while minimizing exposure to healthy tissue.
External Beam Radiation Therapy
External Beam Radiation Therapy uses a machine to deliver radiation to a specific, focused area on the body. Radiation oncologists can use 2-D or 3-D planning to aim the radiation at cancerous cells. The therapy can be precisely aimed and custom shaped to affect as few healthy cells as possible. It is delivered through dual-energy photon beams, non-coplanar beams or multiple electron beams.
Permanent Seeds Implant
For prostate cancer patients, permanent seed implants provide highly-targeted therapy. During a one to two hour procedure, radioactive seeds are permanently implanted into the prostate. These seeds allow high doses of radiation to be delivered with minimal harm to surrounding tissue. After about 10 months, the seeds no longer release radiation.