Woman undergoing radiation treatment at Texas Cancer Institute.

Advanced Radiation Therapy customized just for you.

Radiation Therapy is not a "one size fits all" solution. Your case is unique, and your radiation therapy should be unique. Thankfully, Texas Cancer Institute offers Austin residents the most advanced technology available for every tumor type and location.
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What kind of Radiation Therapy is right for you?

The type of radiation you'll receive depends on a number of factors. Your Radiation Oncologist will discuss options with you to make the best choice for your specific situation.

External Beam Radiation Therapy

External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT) is a cancer treatment that uses high-energy radiation beams to target cancerous cells. 

This therapy delivers radiation from outside the body, minimizing damage to healthy tissues. EBRT is a highly effective treatment and has been used to treat various types of cancer including breast, lung, prostate, and brain cancer. The radiation can be delivered in different ways, such as via linear accelerator (LINAC) or proton therapy. 

The radiation dose is based on the type and stage of cancer and the patient's overall health. EBRT is usually delivered in multiple sessions called fractions, and each fraction is delivered over several minutes.

Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy

Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) is a radiation therapy technique that uses sophisticated software to plan and adjust radiation beams to deliver a high dose of radiation to the tumor while minimizing exposure to nearby healthy tissue. 

IMRT uses a computer program to control the intensity of multiple radiation beams delivered from different angles to match the shape of the tumor. 

The radiation dose can be precisely tailored to the tumor shape, size, and location, allowing radiation to be delivered from many directions without damaging the surrounding healthy tissues. IMRT is used to treat cancers of the head and neck, prostate, breast, and brain.

Stereotactic Radiosurgery

Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) is a specialized radiation therapy that is commonly used to treat patients with brain tumors, arteriovenous malformations, pituitary tumors, acoustic neuromas, and other abnormalities in the brain. SRS is often the preferred option for patients who aren't candidates for surgery or are seeking a non-surgical alternative. 

SRS can frequently achieve the same therapeutic effects as surgery or other radiation techniques but with fewer side effects.

Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy

Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) is a type of radiation therapy that delivers high doses of radiation in only a few treatment sessions. SBRT uses multiple beams for focused radiation delivery, precisely targeting the tumor with high doses of radiation while minimizing exposure to surrounding healthy tissue. 

This therapy is used for small tumors that haven't spread to other parts of the body.

Image Guided Radiation Therapy

Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) is a type of radiation therapy that uses advanced imaging technology to deliver precise targeted radiation to cancerous cells while sparing surrounding healthy tissue. This technology uses MRI, PET, and CT scans to precisely locate tumors in the body during treatment. Then, the radiation beams are adjusted to match the size, shape, and location of the tumor, ensuring that the radiation dose is delivered to the tumor with a higher degree of precision. 

IGRT is particularly useful for tumors in organs like the lungs that move during treatment.

High-Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy

High-Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy is a type of radiation therapy that inserts a small radioactive pellet into or near the tumor for a very short period - typically only a few minutes - for highly targeted treatment with extreme accuracy. This technique allows for a high dose of radiation to be delivered directly to the tumor while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissues. 

Frequently, HDR brachytherapy requires only one treatment, but sometimes more than one session is needed. HDR brachytherapy is used to treat cancers of the cervix, prostate, and breast, among others.

Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy

Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT) is an advanced radiation technique that uses computer-controlled radiation beams with variable intensity to deliver high doses of radiation directly to the tumor while protecting surrounding healthy tissue. 

VMAT uses a specialized radiotherapy machine called a linear accelerator (LINAC) to deliver radiation in a 360-degree arc around the patient. The radiation dose is delivered while the machine rotates, minimizing the amount of radiation that healthy tissues receive.

High praise from patients we are honored to serve.

Dr Ghafoori spent a lot of time with me and my wife and was very clear in his communications. He seemed very thorough and concerned about me and my condition. Appointments started on a timely basis. His follow-up with 2 other specialists I needed to see quickly was very prompt and he thoroughly apprised them of my issues. In summary I was very pleased with the care I have received thus far.
Robert Smith.

Radiation Therapy FAQs

How does radiation therapy work?

Radiation therapy uses targeted high energy x-rays and particles to kill cancer cells. Radiation can be delivered to the cancer cells from either outside the body via sophisticated machines or inside the body via tiny pellet implants. The goal is to kill only cancer cells without damaging healthy cells.

How long will I be in radiation therapy?

  • External Beam, Image Guided, and Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy radiation therapy are usually delivered once a day, Monday through Friday, for the course of the treatment.
  • Stereotactic Body Radiation and Stereotactic Radiosurgery are usually one to five treatments over the course of several weeks.
  • High-Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy is usually just one dose but sometimes requires more than one session.

How long does each session last?

  • Visits usually last 30 minutes to an hour, but most of that time is spent positioning you correctly for your treatment.
  • Your first visit for High-Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy can take a bit longer. This first visit will include the placement of a small tube (catheter) that your doctor will use to place the radiation pellet in or near your tumor. Each session after that should take 30 minutes to an hour.

Will I need any other tests during my radiation treatment?

If you are receiving Image Guided Radiation Therapy, you will need repeated CT, MRI, or PET scans to guide how to adjust your position or dose during treatment.

Does radiation therapy hurt?

You won't feel the radiation at all during treatment, but sometimes skin in the treatment area can become dry, itchy, blistered, or can peel. You can manage this with lotions recommended by our treatment team. Usually skin heals a few weeks after your radiation therapy ends.

What are the side effects of radiation therapy?

In addition to possible skin changes mentioned above, radiation therapy can cause fatigue and other side effects. Your physician will explain these potential side effects with you before your treatment begins, and your therapy team will be by your side to help manage any side effects that occur.
Your well-being is our priority, and we're ready to support you on your cancer journey. Together, we can make a difference and bring hope to your path of healing.

We look forward to serving you with compassion, expertise, and dedication.
Together, we can work towards a brighter, cancer-free future for Austin, TX and beyond.
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