Specialized Treatment Options
UK Radiation Medicine is a nationally recognized leader in the field of radiation oncology. Our faculty participates in and plays a leadership role in national clinical trials for cancer therapies. The department provides the most advanced radiation therapies available that help treat cancer and maintain our patients' quality of life. These therapies include:
High-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy: HDR brachytherapy delivers high-dose radiation through temporarily placed radiation sources. The radiation can be quickly and precisely delivered to a tumor. Patients receiving HDR brachytherapy can often be treated on an outpatient basis. We currently use HDR brachytherapy for many pulmonary, esophageal and gynecological cancer treatments. Patients with other local tumors can be considered for HDR therapy on an individual basis.
Low-dose rate (LDR brachytherapy: LDR brachytherapy has been successfully used in the treatment of cervical and uterine cancers and other gynecological malignancies. Whether a patient receives LDR or HDR brachytherapy depends on the individual's cancer location and situation.
Gamma Knife® radiosurgery
As part of the UK Brain and Body Radiosurgery program, UK Radiation Medicine works in conjunction with the Kentucky Neuroscience Institute to treat patients in Kentucky's only Gamma Knife Center. The Gamma Knife uses advanced three-dimensional planning based on high resolution CT or MRI scans to focus 201 beams of cobalt-60 radiation onto a tumor or lesion. Gamma Knife radiosurgery is an important option for patients with abnormal blood vessels of the brain (arteriovenous malformations), brain tumors or other tumors of the upper head and neck region. This treatment method is accurate to 1 millimeter or less, does not require surgery and often is performed on an outpatient basis.
Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
IMRT is a form of three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy that focuses multiple radiation beams on a tumor. The intensities of the radiation beams are controlled by the radiation oncologist to deliver the highest dose to the tumor and minimize radiation to nearby tissues and organs.
Papillon endocavitary radiation therapy
Endocavitary radiation therapy is an alternative to surgical removal of small rectal cancers. Small favorable rectal cancers are best suited for endocavitary radiation therapy. UK HealthCare is one of only three or four health care providers in the country that offer this option.
Pediatric radiation therapy
Comprehensive radiation oncology services are available for children with malignant diseases. Clinical services include external beam radiation, with photons and electrons as needed. 3-D conformal therapy, IMRT, brachytherapy and stereotactic radiosurgery are also options, depending on the patient. Pediatric anesthesia services are available when needed. Contact the Ronald McDonald House (map) at 859-268-0757 or 859-268-1651 for assistance with temporary lodging.
Prostate seed implants
Many early stage prostate cancers can be treated with seed implants. Using ultrasound guidance, dozens of tiny radioactive "seeds" measuring about two mm in length are carefully placed in the prostate to destroy the tumor while sparing the urethra, bladder and other nearby organs. This provides a treatment option that only requires a few visits for selected patients.
Stereotactic body radiation therapy
Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) precisely delivers high doses of radiation to a tumor, while avoiding the surrounding normal, healthy tissues.
Three-dimensional treatment planning
UK Radiation Medicine has a dedicated CT (computed tomography) scanner for imaging and three-dimensional radiation planning for patients requiring radiation treatment. The planning process provides detailed imaging for 3-D conformal and Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy.
TomoTherapy Hi-Art treatment system
The TomoTherapy® Hi-Art® treatment system is one of the most advanced and versatile radiation therapy systems commercially available. The system, now in place at UK Chandler Hospital, is used for noninvasive treatment of a wide variety of cancers in the body.
Total skin electron beam therapy
This technique delivers high doses of radiation to the entire skin surface without treatment of the underlying tissues and organs. This is particularly useful in treating cutaneous T-cell lymphoma and other rare lymphomas. UK Radiation Medicine has more than 15 years of experience providing this service.