Our expansion of the McKee Cancer Center has included an upgrade to the most advanced radiation oncology equipment in northern Colorado.
The equipment, the Varian TrueBeam STx platform, is designed to advance the treatment of brain, lung, breast, prostate, head and neck, and other types of cancer. Learn more about Linear Accelerator Radiation Therapy.
3D Conformal Radiation Therapy
Conformal radiation therapy is planned in three dimensions and uses the targeting information to focus precisely on the tumor while minimizing damage to the healthy surrounding tissue. This exact targeting makes it possible to use higher levels of radiation in treatment, which are more effective in shrinking tumors.
Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
The patient’s anatomy is digital imaged before or during treatment allowing additional guidance of the radiation beam. This allows more accurate and precise treatment than traditionally possible.
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
IMRT varies the intensity of the radiation that is used for cancer therapy. It delivers multiple radiation beams that conform to the shape of the tumor which dramatically increases the dose that can be delivered to the tumor and at the same time, reduces the amount of radiation to adjacent healthy tissue. Specialized mechanical devices called multileaf collimators are used to shape or “sculpt” the radiation beams. Advanced planning and software are also needed.
Smart Arc technology is an advanced form of IMRT in which a precise radiation dose is delivered in a single or multiple arcs around the patient. It benefits the patients by significantly reducing treatment time, increasing accuracy and sparing healthy tissue.
Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy, Stereotactic Radiosurgery (brain)
This non-invasive outpatient treatment procedure is performed on a dedicated linear accelerator, which is capable of collimating the radiation beam to the shape of the tumor which will dramatically reduce the amount of radiation to adjacent healthy tissue. Multiple precisely aimed beams allow a much larger dose to be given in 1-5 treatments to the tumor site. Highly selected patients with a particular tumor shape, size and location are considered for this procedure.
Brachytherapy may also be referred to as “internal radiation”. Prostate seed implantation is a type of radioactive source procedure. An ultrasound is utilized to place dozens of tiny “seeds” containing radioactive iodine or palladium which are placed in the tumor site. This is advantageous in that the radiation can be delivered directly to the tumor site without going through normal structures.
Gold seed marker placement
Gold fiducial markers are 2-3 millimeters in size and only 3 are placed into the prostate gland. These markers ensure precise target localization for structures that may move slightly on a daily basis and also helps spare radiation dose to surrounding healthy tissue.
4-D CT Scanning for thoracic malignancies
4D CT is a specialized scan which helps localize moving lung tumors. This allows the radiation oncologist to define a more precise radiation dose to the lungs ensuring coverage of the tumor even when a patient is breathing during their treatment.