Radiation oncology (also called radiation therapy) is the process of using radiation to kill cancer cells. When doctors administer a very precise, single treatment of radiation therapy to one area, it's called radiosurgery. The Curtis and Elizabeth Anderson Cancer Institute at Memorial University Medical Center offers the most advanced radiation therapy and radiosurgery services in southeast Georgia.
In October 2012, we were the first hospital in Georgia to offer INTRABEAM® intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) for women with early-stage breast cancer.
The standard treatment for early-stage breast cancer is breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy) followed by six weeks of daily whole breast radiation therapy. The surgery removes the tumor while the radiation therapy destroys any remaining cancer cells and helps prevent a recurrence.
INTRABEAM IORT combines surgery and radiation into a single procedure to shorten treatment time, minimize side effects, and maximize radiation therapy benefits. The INTRABEAM applicator is placed in the tumor cavity during surgery. It delivers low-energy radiation directly into the tumor bed for 20 to 30 minutes. The radiation is absorbed over a 1 to 2 centimeter depth, minimizing damage to surrounding tissue.
INTRABEAM was the only IORT delivery system studied in an international randomized controlled clinical trial called TARGIT-A. The study found that 85 percent of women who qualified for and received IORT did not need additional radiation treatment after the procedure. For the 15 percent who did need additional whole breast radiation therapy, the IORT served as a “boost” dose and cut five to seven days off of their post-surgery treatment.
Our IORT Experts
To learn more about INTRABEAM IORT, call 912-350-PINK.
In 2011, we became the first facility in Savannah to offer TrueBeam cancer technology. The Varian TrueBeam delivers radiation therapy for more types of cancer with better accuracy, precision, and safety than any other radiation therapy system. With TrueBeam, we can deliver stereotactic radiosurgery and body radiotherapy in as little as five to 10 minutes. With the older CyberKnife technology, radiosurgery treatments could take as long as two hours.
Precision and Accuracy
The Anderson Cancer Institute offers superior technology for mapping and detecting cancer. Many tumors change location because of breathing and normal organ motion. We can track tumor movement using respiratory gating and the implantation of fiducial markers. This is done through CT technology built into the radiation equipment, as well as four-dimensional PET/CT treatment planning.
Careful planning allows us to deliver a precise beam of radiation directly to the cancer with little or no damage to the surrounding healthy tissue. Thanks to our Varian TrueBeam STx, we can deliver an extremely high dose of radiation with sub-millimeter accuracy, reducing treatment times and side effects.
Our Radiation OncologistsRadiation oncology treatments are planned by our board-certified radiation oncologists.
They work closely with medical physicists and dosimetrists to develop precise treatment plans. All treatment is delivered by experienced radiation therapists and is supported by a team of nurses and other healthcare professionals.
Types of Radiation Therapy We Offer
To learn more about our radiation therapy services, call 912-350-8795.