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Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to minimize or kill malignant cancer cells. At Reston Hospital Center, our comprehensive cancer care program uses radiation therapy in a variety of ways to deliver treatment that meets your specific needs.

Advanced Technology in Experienced Hands

Rely on Reston Hospital to provide the most advanced technology for radiation therapy to treat your cancer. Our physicians, radiation oncologists and clinical staff perform procedures with this equipment each day, ensuring you receive expert and experienced team care.

You and your physician typically choose from two general types of radiation therapy–external beam or internal–or combine them to more completely address your particular situation.

External Beam Radiation

Procedures using external beam radiation may involve image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) and intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), which link highly detailed imaging scans with focused radiation beams to target certain small, well-defined tumors.

A special type of external beam radiation, called stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) or stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), uses focused beams to target well-defined tumors. Stereotactic radiation procedures are often known by manufacturers' equipment brand names, including Trilogy, Truebeam and others. Such procedures deliver the right amount of radiation to tumors in a relatively short period of time and reduce damage to nearby healthy tissue.

Reston Hospital Center uses advanced external beam radiation technology that incorporates respiratory gating (adjustment) to track breathing and deliver radiation more precisely while protecting surrounding tissues.

Internal Radiation

Internal radiation treatments, also known as brachytherapy, involve inserting a source of radioactive material–often called a "seed"–into a body cavity. For treatment of gynecologic or breast cancers, this sealed source is sent into the body through a catheter for a short period of time, usually just a few minutes.

You may be a candidate for accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI), a procedure that delivers a course of radiation treatment over five days rather than several weeks.

Gynecologic cancers may respond to high-dose rate (HDR) radiation treatment, which uses several types of specialized equipment to target cancer sites.

Prostate brachytherapy is a one-time procedure performed in the operating room, where the radioactive seeds are implanted directly into the prostate gland.

Radiation Therapy at Reston Hospital Center

At Reston Hospital, you can take advantage of many such advanced technologies for external beam and internal radiation therapy, including Trilogy linear accelerator, IMRT, IGRT, HDR partial breast irradiation, prostate seed implants, stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) and 3-D conformal radiotherapy. We also offer preoperative MRI tumor imaging and CT simulation scanning with respiratory correlation for precision targeting and exact treatment planning. Reston Hospital offers you and your care team the widest range of options for managing your cancer diagnosis.

The many types of cancer treated with radiation therapy include brain, breast, colorectal, gynecologic, lung and thoracic, pancreatic/liver/gallbladder, prostate and genitourinary, head and neck, bone metastases and more.