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Radiation Oncology

Radiation Oncology

Radiation Oncology

Our Approach

Personalized care using the most advanced radiation therapy techniques — that is what patients have come to expect from the Georgia Cancer Center Department of Radiation Oncology.

The Radiation Therapy Center at the Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University provides radiation oncology treatments to patients in a freestanding regional center. Over one thousand patients from across Georgia, South Carolina and the southeast come to our facility every year. We see many patients from our local hospitals - Augusta University Health, University Health System, and the Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Our goal, during and after radiation therapy, is to provide you and your family a balance between maintaining your quality of life while aggressively treating your cancer.

Personalized care using the most advanced radiation therapy techniques is what patients can expect at Radiation Therapy at the Georgia Cancer Center. When it comes to Patient- and Family-Centered Care, our fellowship-trained radiation oncologists perform personalized and complex radiation treatments for common and rare cancers. We specialize in the careful treatment of many types of cancer, including:

  • Head and neck malignancies
  • Central nervous system - brain and spinal cord
  • Breast and gynecological malignancies
  • Thoracic malignancies, including lung cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Pediatric malignancies
  • Gastrointestinal, including the liver and kidney
  • Other cancers, including skin, eyes, lymphoma, myeloma and melanoma

Radiation therapy is given through different methods, depending on the type of cancer, the location of cancer, and the patient's health. Sometimes, radiation therapy is used in combination with other treatments.

External radiation (external beam therapy)

Radiation is administered by a large machine that points the energy waves directly at the tumor. The radiation therapist controls the machine. Since radiation is used to kill cancer cells, special shields can be made to protect the tissue surrounding the treatment area.

  • Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT): Is an advanced mode of high-precision radiotherapy that uses computer-controlled linear accelerators to deliver precise radiation doses to a malignant tumor or specific areas within the tumor.
  • Rapid Arc Technology: Volumetric Arc Therapy (VMAT) or RapidArc® Radiotherapy Technology is an advanced form of IMRT delivering a precisely sculpted 3D dose distribution. Unlike conventional IMRT treatments, during which the machine must rotate several times around the patient or make repeated stops and starts to treat the tumor from a number of different angles, VMAT / RapidArc can deliver the dose to the entire tumor in a 360-degree rotation, typically in less than two minutes.
  • SBRT/SRS (Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy/Stereotactic Radio-Surgery): A treatment that delivers high dose treatments in five or less fractions to small tumors using highly accurate, precise and focused radiation.

Internal radiation (brachytherapy, implant radiation, systemic radiation)

Internal radiation involves administering a higher dose of radiation in a shorter time span. Some internal radiation treatments stay in the body temporarily; other internal treatments stay in the body permanently, with the radioactive substance losing its radiation energy over a period time. 

The high dose of radiation is delivered as close to the cancer as possible, radiation treatment can be:

  • Swallowed 
  • Injected
  • Implanted directly into the tumor (using seeds or capsules)

The Radiation Therapy team at the Georgia Cancer Center is well equipped with the most advanced radiation therapy technology in the area. Equally important, we are also staffed with highly skilled clinical professionals who are specially trained to use this technology in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Smart Beam intensity-modulated therapy. 

This technology uses multiple types of imaging for better visual acuity and quicker, more localized treatment through Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT). Similar to a global positioning system, it targets beams to the exact shape of tumors, allowing for higher doses of radiation without affecting surrounding organs or tissue.

Philips’ Brilliance Big Bore CT Simulator

The Philips CT Big Bore Simulator is designed to meet the needs of radiation oncology, focusing on accuracy, patient positioning, imaging performance, and intuitive workflow.

Varian’s Trilogy Medical Linear Accelerator

A medical linear accelerator (LINAC) customizes high energy x-rays or electrons to conform to a tumor's shape and destroy cancer cells while sparing surrounding normal tissue. It features several built-in safety measures to ensure it delivers the dose as prescribed and is routinely checked by a medical physicist to ensure it works properly.

Varian’s Edge

Varian’s Edge delivers precise doses of radiation to tumors of the lung, brain, spine, and other areas of the body. Using Edge, our team is able to precisely calculate patient movement in all six degrees of freedom and monitor respiratory motion.

Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion

Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion is preferred for its extreme accuracy, efficiency, and outstanding therapeutic response. Today, cranial radiosurgery with Perfexion is performed in hundreds of leading hospitals and clinics around the world.

Nucletron Microselection High Dose Radation Remote Afterloader Unit

Nucletron’s microselection HDR remote afterloader unit performs brachytherapy treatments by using applicators and catheters to drive a very small radiation source from a shielded safe, located inside the afterloader directly into or next to the tumor.

Our staff is made up of the largest team of radiation therapy experts including radiation oncologists, nursing staff, radiation physicists, medical dosimetrists and radiation therapists. We employ only board-certified radiologic technologists, a higher standard than the state of Georgia requires, who specializing in radiation therapy.

Nursing Team

Our staff is composed of Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, a Certified Medical Assistant, Social Worker, Registered Dietician, and a Physician Assistant that guide you throughout your time with us at Radiation Oncology.

Our nurses team up with physicians to provide the highest level of individualized care to our patients. You will meet your personal radiation oncology nurse at the time of initial consultation and will continue this partnership throughout the course of your radiation treatment and at follow-up visits. During the course of radiation treatments your nurse will:

  • Evaluate you weekly (or sometimes more frequently).
  • Answer questions you may have regarding your care.
  • Provide you with information about your specific diagnosis and radiation therapy
  • Help manage any side-effects you may experience.
  • Provide emotional support to you and your family, and offer other resources for assistance.

Medical Dosimetrists

The Radiation Therapy dosimetry team is comprised of four Board Certified Medical Dosimetrists (CMD). The team works collaboratively to provide customized treatment plans for each patient served using Varian’s Eclipse Planning System. They also instruct and mentor the students within the growing Augusta University Radiation Therapy program.

Radiation Therapists

Radiation therapists are allied health professionals specializing in treating patients with cancer and other diseases by administering radiation treatments with machines called linear accelerators. They observe the patient during each treatment. If tumor localization is required on the linear accelerator, therapists perform imaging according to the physician’s prescription. All of our radiation therapists maintain their registry with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).

 

Our Providers

Augusta University Medical Center specialists provide care and support throughout your entire healthcare journey.

Barrett, John T, MD, PhD

Emergency Medicine

Miller, Devin T, MD

Gynecologic Oncology

Guddati, Achuta K, MD PhD

Hematology/Oncology

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