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Radiation Oncology

Radiation therapy is an important treatment component for many cancer patients. Our radiation oncologists at both Memorial and Elkhart General hospitals work with a cohesive clinical team to deliver personalized radiation therapy in coordination with our surgical and medical oncology specialists. For each patient, an individualized, comprehensive and detailed treatment plan is created using CT scans that render tumor location in four dimensions, allowing the radiation oncologists, dosimetrists and radiation physicists to plan for accurate treatment delivery. From day one, our clinical team will guide you through each appointment, including daily treatment and follow-up care.

What is radiation therapy?

Our treatment machines produce unparalleled targeted radiation to treat all types of cancer while sparing healthy tissues and minimizing side effects. Targeted radiation therapy damages the genetic material that controls how cells divide, which slows or stops tumor growth. Typically, radiation treatments are delivered daily over the course of several weeks. This allows the radiation to kill off cancerous cells while normal, healthy cells can repair and rejuvenate. Using today’s top technology along with image guidance and surface guidance, we are able to precisely focus the radiation to the tumor area, while sparing nearby critical organs such as the heart.  

Schedule an appointment

If you’re looking for a referral or need to talk to us about your treatment options, we’re here to help. Contact us today.

Call 574.647.8300

Specialized treatments offered at Beacon

  • Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT): uses advanced computer programs to calculate and deliver radiation directly to cancer cells.
  • RapidArc Treatment: a radiation therapy technology that is among the most advanced forms of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and is delivered using one of Beacon Cancer Care’s TrueBeam linear accelerators.
  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS): advanced, non-surgical / non-invasive, radiation therapy treatment is used to treat small cancerous brain tumors as well as select brain abnormalities. Using 3D and surface guidance imaging to pinpoint the exact target, radiation is then delivered to a small affected area, minimizing exposure to surrounding healthy tissue. SRS is performed in a single outpatient visit.
  • Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy (SABR or SBRT): a non-invasive, highly focused type of treatment in which high doses of radiation are delivered to small, well-defined tumors. An intense dose of radiation is concentrated on the tumor while limiting the dose to surrounding tissue. While typically delivered to the lung, SABR can also be used for prostate, liver, spine, pancreas and adrenal tumors. SABR is performed as an outpatient in 3 to 5 treatments.
  • HDR Brachytherapy: a type of treatment that utilizes a source of radiation introduced internally through a catheter where it remains while delivering the radiation to the cancerous area. After treatment is complete (averaging 10-20 minutes), the radioactive source is retracted safely and the catheter is removed. High dose brachytherapy may be a treatment option for patients with select prostate, breast, and gynecological cancers.
  • Prostate Seed Implant: a one-time, minimally invasive, outpatient treatment procedure for early stage prostate cancer. The procedure involves permanently implanting approximately 60-90 tiny radioactive seeds into the prostate. The permanent radioactive seeds deliver a precise dose of radiation inside the prostate before they gradually lose their radioactivity over the next few days.

Advanced techniques at Beacon

Beacon’s Radiation Oncology team believes in taking care of the whole patient, which includes aggressively targeting the tumor area while sparing healthy surrounding tissue and organs. We take pride in using an array of advanced techniques that help reduce patients’ short- and long-term side effects.

  • Surface Guided Radiation Therapy (SGRT): a technique which uses light and camera technology to track the patient’s skin surface in order to track patient movement during treatment and to accurately target radiation during treatment delivery.
  • Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH): this technique, used for breast cancer, delivers radiation therapy while drastically limiting radiation exposure to the heart and lungs.
  • Prone Breast Positioning: another approach to treating breast cancer by limiting radiation exposure to the surrounding organs and tissues including the heart, lung and skin, by laying the patient prone during daily radiation treatments.
  • SpaceOAR Hydrogel: a relatively new advancement to aid prostate cancer patients receiving radiation therapy treatments. SpaceOAR is a hydrogel injected into the space between the prostate and rectum. The SpaceOAR helps reduce rectal injury in men receiving prostate cancer radiation therapy by acting as a spacer, pushing the rectum away from the prostate target. 
  • Hypofractionation scheme: this technique, often used to treat breast cancer and prostate cancer, reduces the number of treatment visits from 6-7 weeks down to 3-4 weeks when medically appropriate. Larger daily doses of radiation are delivered in fewer treatments with comparable outcomes. 
  • Four-Dimensional Computed Tomography (4DCT) takes into account tumor motion caused by normal patient breathing. This advanced planning technique allows the doctor to see the movement of the tumor in the lung or abdomen with each breath, to make sure the radiation is being properly directed each time.