WVU Medicine’s Radiation Oncology doctors use radiation treatments (also referred to as radiation therapy) to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. The radiation energy injures or destroys cells in the target tissue, making it impossible for these cells to continue to grow and divide.
Radiation therapy may be used to treat many types of tumors, including cancers of the:
Radiation is also used to treat leukemia and lymphoma.
Radiation therapy may be used alone or in combination with other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy or surgery. In some cases, a person may receive more than one type of radiation therapy.
WVU Medicine’s radiation oncologists provide radiation therapy for both children and adults with cancer.
WVU Medicine’s radiation oncologists perform the following therapeutic procedures:
- MammoSite® Radiation Therapy
- External Beam Therapy
- Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
- Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
- Respiratory Gating
- Prostate Seed Implant
- Stereotactic Radiosurgery
- Gamma Knife Radiosurgery
WVU Medicine cancer specialists have expanded our cancer fighting capability with the addition of a linear accelerator. A linear accelerator delivers external beam radiation treatment for cancer, delivering high-energy x-rays to the tumor without damaging surrounding tissue. The tumor can be treated from any angle by rotating the machine or treatment bed. Treatment times are shorter, making the treatment more comfortable for the patient.
Equipped with a new image guidance system, this new device allows the radiation oncologist to see the tumor in real time for the most accurate treatment.
The new device also uses stereotactic body irradiation – a precise, high dose form of radiation that enables a shorter overall treatment time. Treating lung cancer with standard radiation might take five or six weeks to treat. But, with this targeted form of radiation, we can complete the cancer treatment in one or two weeks.
Brain Surgery Without an Incision
The Gamma Knife is an advanced tool for the treatment of benign and malignant tumors, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), facial pain, and other functional brain disorders.
It is not actually a knife, but a 20-ton medical instrument that emits 201 finely focused beams of gamma radiation. These beams simultaneously intersect at the precise location of the brain disorder and treat it with minimal effect on surrounding normal tissue – without the risks of surgery or an incision.
WVU Medicine’s Gamma Knife has greatly increased our ability to provide the full range of advanced neurosurgical care to patients. Gamma Knife radiosurgery maximizes patient comfort and can treat lesions that were previously inaccessible or treated unsuccessfully by conventional surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.