Published on October 01, 2020

Radiation Oncology Updates

By Yaseen Zia, MD

Radiation Oncology at Pardee Cancer Center continues to develop and implement new technologies and techniques to provide the most advanced oncological care to our patients and our community. This past year we are proud to have added Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) and Active Breathing Coordinator (ABC) to our armamentarium. These additions allow us to offer therapeutic options that were previously unavailable to treat our patients while minimizing treatment toxicities.

Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) delivers very high doses of radiation in an extremely precise manner to the tumor. SBRT uses sophisticated image guidance to pinpoint the three-dimensional location of the tumor so that treatment be delivered to it while minimizing dose to the surrounding normal tissues and reducing treatment toxicity. SBRT, as compared to conventional radiation therapy, is administered in five treatments or less over the course of one to two weeks. We have implemented this modality in the treatment of our early stage lung cancer patients. These patients can be treated by surgical resection, but in some cases their medical co-morbidities preclude a surgical approach. SBRT has been documented to provide a viable alternative with excellent local control of disease and one that we are pleased to offer to patients now. This development has allowed us to more comprehensively treat lung cancer and to allow our patients to receive their care closer to home and their support system.

Radiation therapy is an integral component in the treatment of breast cancer. The delivery of radiotherapy is often challenging due to the close proximity of the breast to critical normal organs, with the heart being one of the foremost. The implementation of Active Breathing Coordinator (ABC) allows us to better treat the breast while avoiding the heart and mitigating potential cardiac toxicity. The patient is instructed in Deep Inspiratory Breath Hold (DIBH) which serves to position the heart farther away from the treated breast. The ABC monitors the patient’s breathing cycle while treatment is delivered and ensures that radiation is administered when the heart is away from the radiation field. This results in a lower heart dose and resultant potential cardiac toxicity. Due to being able to minimize heart dosage better, patients who require it are able to be treated more comprehensively to lymph node regions that are in close proximity to the heart.

I am pleased to share these advancements and look forward to advancing the fight against cancer in our community.

Read more about in Pardee's Cancer Annual Report at

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