Radiation therapy is an outpatient cancer treatment designed to kill a brain or spine tumor or keep it from growing. Depending on the condition, radiation therapy can also be used as a palliative treatment to reduce pain and improve quality of life.
Physicians in the radiation oncology program at Rush apply disease-specific expertise and state-of-the art technology to combat many different types of brain tumors. Since members of the team focus specifically on treating brain and spine tumors, they have specialized knowledge of the nuances of treatment and how to most effectively use the technology available at Rush to achieve the best possible outcomes for you.
Rush offers the latest radiation therapy technology to treat brain and spine tumors while sparing healthy tissue, including the following:
- Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) - an external beam approach that repeatedly images the tumor during treatment and continuously adjusts the radiation beams so that a higher dose of radiation can be more precisely delivered to the tumor. Doctors at Rush deliver IGRT using the TomoTherapy Hi-Art System and Varian Trilogy system.
- Stereotactic radiosurgery - a highly specialized treatment that delivers a single, high dose of radiation to treat brain tumors, spine tumors, some head and neck tumors, and abnormal blood vessels in the brain.
- Fractionated stereotactic radiosurgery (also called stereotactic radiotherapy) - a form of stereotactic radiosurgery that delivers smaller doses of radiation over multiple sessions instead of one large dose at once. It can be used to treat brain tumors including pituitary adenomas, schwannomas and meningiomas.
At Rush, you will also have access to experimental radiation therapy protocols that may offer you the chance for a better outcome compared to standard treatments. Rush offers clinical trials as part of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, which is funded by the National Cancer Institute. For more information on clinical trials available at Rush, visit the Cancer Clinical Trials Web page.
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