Advanced Radiation Therapy for Brain Cancer

Brain Cancer Treatment Options

Radiation technology is proven effective.

Surgery is the most widely used treatment to remove a brain tumor. But radiation therapy is also commonly used for three reasons.

  1. To kill any remaining tumor cells in the margins.
  2. As the primary treatment if surgery is not a good option and chemotherapy is not effective.
  3. To help prevent or relieve symptoms from the tumor.

At MRO, we use a machine called a linear accelerator (LINAC) which produces radiation.  This machine directs precise doses of radiation to cancer cells, which are more susceptible to radiation than healthy cells. Because there are so many different types of brain cancer, radiation oncology strategies differ from person to person, so your own radiation therapy plan is designed specifically for you by your MRO care team. Using state-of-the-art imaging technologies, such as MRI, CT, and PET, your MRO care team can deliver precise radiation doses with pinpoint accuracy. Like an x-ray, radiation therapy is painless. There’s no fear of becoming radioactive during or after treatment.

Since radiotherapy for brain cancer requires utmost precision, you’ll also go through a simulation at the MRO Therapy Center. Using image mapping as a guide, your care team will position you as you would be for treatment and take measurements to build a targeted treatment plan and pinpoint the radiation for the best possible outcome.

There are several different techniques used to treat brain cancer.

Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT)

3D-CRT uses imaging tests such as MRI to map the location of the tumor precisely. Then 3D-CRT shapes and aims multiple radiation beams at the tumor from different directions. Each beam itself is fairly weak, to prevent damage to normal tissues, but the beams converge at the tumor to give a higher cumulative dose at one precise spot.

Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)

IMRT is an advanced form of 3D therapy which uses a computer-driven plan that moves the treatment machine around you as it delivers radiation. Along with shaping the beams and aiming them at the tumor from several angles, the intensity of the beams can be adjusted to limit the dose reaching the most sensitive normal tissues.

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS)/stereotactic radiotherapy (SBRT)

Despite the name, there is no physical surgery involved in this treatment. SRS delivers a large, precise radiation dose to the tumor area in a single session. (It’s called SBRT when there are multiple sessions.) These procedures may be used in parts of the brain or spinal cord that can’t be treated with surgery or if a patient isn’t healthy enough for surgery.

HyperArc™: A new dimension in radiation treatment

HyperArc technology is one of the latest advancements in radiation therapy, a specific type of SBRT specially designed for treating tumors in the head. Your MRO care team will evaluate your own specific situation before recommending this option for you. HyperArc is unique in several ways:

Efficiency: HyperArc delivers precise radiation beams from various angles around the patient, allowing for a shorter treatment time compared to traditional SRS techniques.

Accuracy: The system utilizes advanced planning tools and image guidance to ensure the radiation dose is delivered with pinpoint accuracy, minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue.

Streamlined workflow: HyperArc simplifies treatment planning and delivery for clinicians, potentially reducing treatment time and improving patient care.

Full brain and spine radiation therapy (craniospinal radiation)

If tests indicate the tumor has spread along the covering of the spinal cord or into the surrounding cerebrospinal fluid, then the whole brain and spinal cord may be treated.

The cause of brain cancer is usually unknown. Most people diagnosed with a primary brain tumor do not have any known risk factors. – National Foundation for Cancer Research