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Message from the Chief

Chief of Clinical Radiation: Molly Gabel , M.D., Associate Professor

Radiation Oncology

Radiation therapy involves using a beam of high-energy particles or waves such as x-rays to destroy or damage cancer cells. It is one of the most common treatments for cancer, used in more than half of all cancer cases.  As part of The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the Department of Radiation Oncology at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital offers the latest technology and access to innovative treatment techniques through clinical trials.

Radiation Oncology

We bring together a team of doctors, physicists, dosimetrists, radiation therapists and nurses to treat each patient.

Treatment is designed to meet an individual's specific medical needs throughout the entire course of their treatment. The team works together to minimize side effects and reduce the stress of undergoing cancer treatment. Patients can also be confident knowing that their doctors work closely with other cancer experts from many specialties whose capabilities reach beyond the scope of radiation oncology to fight a variety of cancers.

During treatment, we assist patients with identifying modes of transportation, reducing stress and minimizing work-related issues. Our goal is to have our patients complete treatment with little or no interruption of their daily lives.

After treatment is complete, we provide clear instructions for care after cancer treatment, and check in with patients to make sure they are feeling well. Follow up visits are coordinated with other cancer specialists, so that we assure our patients return to their normal active lives, knowing that their doctors are watching them closely.

Types of radiation therapy offered include:

  • 3D Conformal Radiation Therapy - Sophisticated computer-assisted tomography (CT) scans and computer software tools are used to reconstruct patient anatomy in 3D and treat tumors throughout the body
  • Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT) and TomoTherapy- Top-notch planning and delivery technology applies high dose conformal radiation to the targeted tumor, while carefully avoiding critical organs.  Similar in shape to a CT scanner, Tomotherapy allows highly conformal radiation treatment combined with image guidance to deliver treatment with remarkable accuracy.
  • Gated Radiation Therapy - Computer assisted the state of art technology to manage the intra-fraction motion (the target and organ motion during treatment). The technology may potentially reduce side effects and improve tumor control.
  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) – We provide state-of-the-art radiosurgery for brain, spine and other body sites using the Radionics XKnife system. This allows highly accurate “pinpointed” radiation treatment within the brain, spinal cord or other critical areas of the body. Radiosurgery can be delivered in one dose (stereotactic radiosurgey) or in several fractions (stereotactic radiotherapy).
  • Image Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT) : Some tumors may move slightly from day to day, or even during an individual treatment session. Image guided radiotherapy allows us to see the tumor throughout treatment, assuring that the radiation beam is treating tumor cells and avoiding normal tissue.
  • High Dose Rate (HDR) and Low Dose Rate (LDR) Temporary Radiation Brachytherapy - Brachytherapy involves the placement of radioactive “seeds” or sources directly into or around tumors, allowing for high tumor dose while sparing other normal tissues. Brachytherapy is performed in concert with Gynecologic, Urologic or General Surgery doctors, and treatment is prescribed and monitored closely by Radiation Oncologists and Phsyicists. HDR treatment allows high dose delivery to certain tumor types without the hospitalization associated with LDR treatments. Our Radiation Oncologists have been highly trained in brachytherapy techniques, assuring patients safe and effective treatment.
  • Prostate Seed Implant - The use of permanently implanted radioactive sources for treatment of prostate cancer. Radiation Oncologists work with the Urologists to offer prostate seed implant for early stage prostate cancers.
  • Total Body Irradiation (TBI) - Low doses of radiation given to the whole body as a preparatory regimen for bone marrow transplant in the treatment of hematologic cancers and other disorders.
  • Total Skin Electron Therapy (TSET) - The Total Skin Electron Therapy (TSET) program is utilized in the management of patients with cutaneous lymphoma as well as several other disorders.

Safety and Quality Assurance: The Department of Radiation Oncology at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital uses a computerized treatment record and verifying system for every patient treatment session. This system electronically links, records and verifies all patient data, treatment schedules and treatment information through a networked patient information and imaging system, assuring that radiation is delivered safely and accurately.