Ben Schaffer Cancer Institute is equipped to deliver advanced radiation therapies thanks to our state-of-the-art technologies that include a Varian iX Linear Accelerator, Nucletron microSelection Multi-Channel High Dose Rate Brachytherapy Afterloader, and GE 4 Slice Lightspeed Simulator.
CT scans and X-rays help our medical staff identify treatment targets and parameters for radiation therapy. Before each treatment, each patient is scanned and X-rayed in order to locate the position of the organs and tissues that need to be avoided, and to deliver precise and localized radiation to cancerous cells.
Our treatment planning system enables our medical team to analyze three-dimensional images and devise a precise and targeted radiation treatment.
For decades, linear accelerators have served as the workhorse of radiation oncology treatment cancers. At Ben Schaffer Cancer Institute we use a Varian iX Linear Accelerator, which allows for advanced treatments known as external beam radiation therapy.
How do Linear Accelerators Work?
Linear accelerators speed up electrons to nearly the speed of light inside a vacuum tube and direct this electron beam onto a heavy metal target. What emerges from the other side of the target is a narrowly focused beam of high-energy x-rays, also known as photons. These photons can then be directed through a targeting process from many different angles, all converging on the tumor being treated. In the process some normal tissue is irradiated as the beam passes through it, but this dose is minimal compared to the dose received by the targeted tissues.
All of these complex machines can be moved in an up-and-down as well as side-to-side direction. They tend to be noisy and somewhat frightening at first glance, but they are safe and reliable. They also enable a variety of therapies that include Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) and Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT).