The same doctors you see in our clinics are nationally recognized for their research and advancement in radiation therapies and technologies.
We are proud of our leadership in many areas:
- We were the first institution in Minnesota to implement intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), which is now the standard of care.
- Our team is active in advancing high-dose rate brachytherapy to treat difficult internal tumors, like cervical cancer.
- Using stereotactic body radiation therapy to treat early cases of lung cancer, prostate and liver cancer when surgery is not an option.
- Leadership in refining and modifying total body irradiation to help prepare patients for blood and marrow transplantation.
What is radiation therapy?
Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to shrink tumors, kill cancer cells and treat other non-cancerous conditions. Our radiation therapy experts use several types of radiation therapy, using the approach to limit radiation exposure as much as possible while still delivering the optimal outcomes for young patients.
Radiation therapy is recommended at different times throughout cancer treatment, for different reasons, including:
- Primary treatment: Radiation may be the only therapy recommended to treat your child’s cancer
- Before surgery: To help shrink the tumor before surgery.
- After surgery: To limit the growth of any remaining cancer cells (often in conjunction with chemotherapy)
- With chemotherapy and surgery: Radiation therapy is often part of standard cancer treatment plans to stop the growth and spread of cancer in the body.
- Palliative care: To reduce symptoms and side effects for patients with advanced cancer.
We continue to modify and advance the use of radiation therapy for childhood cancers and many other conditions, like heterotopic bone formation and Fanconi anemia. We work closely with our colleagues in the blood and marrow transplant (BMT) program to improve our methods of total body irradiation, which is needed to prepare patients for BMT. Our goal is to modify the treatment to improve patient outcomes, while reducing harm to other tissues.
We also work very closely with sedation services to ensure that your child can comfortably receive radiation therapy treatments.