Radiation Therapy for Brain Cancer

Radiation therapy is one of many options for brain cancer treatment. The goal of this type of treatment is to kill the cancer cells using high-energy X-rays, gamma rays or protons. Radiation therapy can be delivered in one of two ways: externally or internally. External beam radiation therapy is administered from outside the patient’s body using a machine that precisely directs the rays, and is the most commonly used form of radiation therapy for brain cancer. Internal radiation therapy, on the other hand, involves placing a small radioactive implant in or near a tumor. This form of radiation therapy is not commonly used for treating brain tumors.

The Radiation Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center features a multispecialty team of physicians, including experts who focus solely on the treatment of brain cancer using advanced radiation therapy techniques, such as:

  • Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) – High-dose radiation beams are precisely delivered to a small, targeted area of the brain at different angles using pinpoint accuracy. This method is especially helpful for avoiding radiation exposure to surrounding brain tissue. SRS can be administered in just one to five sessions.
  • Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D CRT) – With the guidance of advanced computers and imaging technology, radiation beams that conform to the exact shape of the tumor are directed from various angles.
  • Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) – This form of radiation therapy is similar to 3D CRT and allows the intensity of the beams to be adjusted in particular areas so that physicians can reduce the radiation exposure to healthy tissue and increase the dose delivered to the tumor.
  • Tomotherapy – IMRT is combined with the accuracy of computer tomography (CT) imaging technology. This system allows physicians to see daily CT scans of the tumor to adjust the radiation beams as needed.

Moffitt’s brain cancer team collaborates as a tumor board to develop an individualized treatment plan that’s tailored to each patient’s unique situation. Many factors, such as a patient’s age, general health and past treatments, are considered when determining which form of radiation therapy, if any, will be most effective.

To learn more about radiation therapy for brain cancer, call 1-888-663-3488 or schedule an appointment online by completing a new patient registration form. You do not need a referral to consult with the oncologists specializing in brain cancer at Moffitt Cancer Center.