Cancer. Radiation. The very words inspire fear. When Atlanta patients
come to us for radiation treatment, they are scared, uncertain and
anxious. They don’t know what to expect or how this diagnosis and
treatment is going to affect their lives. At the Emory Decatur Hospital Radiation Oncology Centers (Decatur and Hillandale campuses), our board-certified physicians and expertly
trained staff are dedicated to providing the most current and innovative
radiation cancer treatment in a patient-centered, compassionate
Radiation Cancer Treatment
Emory Decatur Hospital’s state-of-the-art Radiation Oncology Centers are designed to provide Atlanta oncology patients with the latest radiation
therapy technology available to treat their disease. A dual energy
Linear Accelerator is used to treat all types of malignancies, and
special computer systems are utilized by the radiation oncologists and
medical physicists to select the optimal treatment configuration and
dosage to meet the goal of complete eradication of a malignant tumor.
Emory Decatur Hospital is now treating cancer patients with two revolutionary
new radiotherapy techniques:
Many people remember relatives or friends who had bad experiences with
cancer radiation therapy. The technology has changed dramatically over
the years, and we are able to deliver precise radiation doses with much
less toxicity. In the past radiation therapy in Atlanta was used
primarily to treat symptoms but today is a powerful tool used to cure
cancer and has become a front runner in the modalities used to treat
cancer. Our ability to contour dosages to absolute boundaries is
- IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy), a highly precise technique that targets tumors while sparing surrounding healthy tissue
- The MammoSite Radiation Therapy System (RTS),
a potential alternative to the traditional six-week radiation schedule
many breast cancer patients who have undergone lumpectomy are prescribed
Our state-of-the-art Radiation Oncology Center, with our board
certified physicians and expertly trained staff, is dedicated to
providing the most current and innovative treatments in a dedicated,
patient-centered facility. The Radiation Oncology Center offers a Varian
21 EX linear accelerator with multileaf collimation, a Varisource 200
High Dose Brachytherapy unit, a GE CT simulator and Phillips treatment
What kinds of cancer radiation therapy are available?
Emory Decatur Hospital is now treating cancer patients with the following radiotherapy techniques:
- IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy) – is a highly precise technique that targets tumors while sparing surrounding healthy tissue.
technology delivers image-guided IMRT very quickly, in a single
rotation of the treatment machine around the patient. These treatments
involve the use of precisely shaped beams that target the tumor and
minimize exposure of surrounding healthy tissues.
- Three-Dimensional Computerized Radiation Therapy (3D CRT)
– uses CT scans to find all parts of the tumor and to select the best
angles for the radiation beams to reduce radiation dose to surrounding
- Intracavity High-Dose Rate (HDR) and Low-Dose Rate (LDR) Brachytherapy
– places radioactive sources near a tumor. With this technique, the
tumor receives relatively high radiation doses while healthy tissue is
spared. This can only be used on tumors that can be easily accessed or
- Interstitial Brachytherapy – implants radioactive
material (small tubes, seeds or capsules) into the tumor. This can only
be done for tumors that can be easily reached or during surgery (such as
prostate and breast cancers).
- Radiolabeled Monoclonal Antibody Therapy of Lymphoma – radioactive antibodies placed inside of tumors and used to kill cancer cells while keeping doses to healthy tissues low.
- Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a method of delivering
high doses of radiation to lesions in the brain. The technique differs
from conventional radiotherapy, which involves exposing larger areas of
the brain to radiation over a number of sessions, typically 10 to 35.
Instead, SRS delivers a highly focused beam of radiation so that only
the desired target is radiated, sparing the surrounding brain tissue.
This non-invasive “surgical” technique is used mostly to treat cancers
in the brain, as well as a few benign growths.
- Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) applies the
same treatment concept to small tumors in other parts of the body,
specifically the spine, lung, liver, pancreas and prostate. When used
to treat tumors outside of the brain, the procedure may be delivered
over several days (up to five separate treatments).
SRS and SBRT are made possible by the recent development of
three-dimensional computer-guided positioning systems, along with the
improvement in devices used to stabilize the patient for this extremely
accurate targeting system. The metal frames used to keep the patient’s
skull in place are no longer necessary, since the introduction of more
comfortable (and less invasive) devices.
SRS and SBRT are exciting new technologies which allow us to deliver
higher doses of radiation accurately to small lesions, increasing the
chance of curing the disease while also reducing the risk of side
effects and completing treatment in a much shorter span of time.
Radiation Therapy Care Team
The Radiation Oncology staff is exceptional in that each employee,
from the receptionist to the physicians, gives of himself or herself to
the fullest. We treat our cancer radiation therapy patients as if they
are our own family members. This personal attention provides reassurance
to patients who are unsure of what to expect when they first walk
through the door. We don’t just deliver cancer radiation therapy; we
also deliver hope. For more information, call 404.501.6925.