Radiation therapy

Our specialists at UF Health Radiation Oncology — Davis Cancer Pavilion deliver a comprehensive radiation therapy program for nearly all tumor types found in most body sites. Our radiation oncologists, radiation therapists, medical physicists and dosimetrists collaborate to deliver radiation treatment courses that result in optimal outcomes for patients. This is accomplished by delivery of radiation to the target cancer cells and minimizing the radiation dose to surrounding normal tissue.

At UF Health Radiation Oncology, patients are at the center of our approach to cancer care. UF Health is also a premiere research hospital and gives patients access to a wide range of clinical trials.

MAKE AN APPOINTMENT: CALL 352-309-1963

FIND A RESEARCH STUDY OR CLINICAL TRIAL

Radiation therapy is an effective treatment for most cancers at all stages as:

  • A single treatment approach for definitive cure
  • A pre-operative adjuvant radiation therapy before surgery to downsize a tumor to enable successful operative resection
  • Treatment performed during the course of a surgical operation to ensure complete removal and ablation of all cancer cells
  • A post-operative adjuvant radiation therapy to prevent local or regional recurrence of the cancer
  • Part of a multi-modality cancer therapy regimen - in combination with chemotherapy and minimally invasive surgery - often to achieve organ conservation while eradicating the cancer
  • Part of the targeted treatment for cancer recurrences with the intent of completely ablating the tumor, and either achieving salvage remission, or in preventing disease progression
  • An efficient and effective treatment of advanced cancers to provide symptom relief and improve quality of life

Cancer treatment may vary depending upon the type of cancer, the stage of cancer, and the goal of treatment. Often, one or more treatment modalities may be used to provide the most complete treatment for the patient. Increasingly, it is common to use several treatment modalities concurrently (together) or in sequence. This is referred to as multi-modality treatment of the cancer and the modalities may include surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or radiation therapy.

Elekta machinę

For the majority of newly diagnosed cancer patients, the optimal treatment may be a multi-modality approach composed of standard therapies that have been established through extensive medical research. For other patients, the most appropriate therapy may still be under investigation and may be available only through a clinical trial.

At UF Health Cancer Center, multidisciplinary treatment teams are dedicated to the management of specific cancer types and sites through coordinated sub-specialty tumor boards and clinics. Whether you have a common or rare type of cancer, primary or recurrent cancer, physician and oncology professionals guide you through the diagnostic, treatment and after-care services for all types of adult and children's cancers. Our comprehensive cancer program provides you with the finest leading-edge cancer prevention and treatment while giving physicians and healthcare professionals the opportunity to do their best work.

UF Health Davis Cancer Pavilion

UF Health Radiation Oncology - Davis Cancer Pavilion has an exceptionally comprehensive radiation treatment program while providing dedicated tumor type and site sub-specialized expertise. The radiation oncologists coordinate patient care with their subspecialty counterparts in surgical oncology, medical and pediatric oncology, pathology and diagnostic radiology. Our radiation oncology faculty and staff are key members of the multidisciplinary treatment teams, coordinating state-of-the-art diagnostic evaluations, staging studies, multi-modality treatment and survivorship care through interactive tumor board conferences and multidisciplinary clinic encounters.

Our radiation oncologists work with clinical physicists to bring the latest technological developments from industry to our patients. Treatment plans are created using the most advanced computing and imaging techniques. They have access to a complete array of devices to carefully administer radiation to "target tissues" while minimizing radiation exposure to uninvolved tissues.

The department of radiation oncology provides a full range of radiation treatment services. Patients are treated with the optimal techniques and modalities for their type and location of tumor and cancer cells.

Special radiation therapy technologies:

  • Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS)
  • Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT)
  • Short course radiation therapy for prostate cancer combined with a next-generation hydrogel spacer
  • Use of an MR-only radiotherapy simulator (MRCAT) for treatment planning related to primary and metastatic tumors in the brain - the first to offer this technology in the United States
  • Image guided radiation therapy (IGRT)
  • High dose rate brachytherapy, including Mammosite treatment for breast cancer
  • Total body irradiation for bone marrow transplantation
  • Total skin irradiation for cutaneous lymphoma
  • Systemic precision (targeted) radio ligand (conjugate) therapies for metastatic cancers of the prostate, GI neuroendocrine systems, and lymphoma (thyroid radio Iodine therapy)
  • Spheres radionuclide therapy for liver tumors
  • Intraoperative breast radiotherapy using IntraBeam Technology for breast cancer
  • Proton Beam Radiotherapy is available at the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute in Jacksonville, Florida

New technology available at UF Health Radiation Oncology - Davis Cancer Pavilion delivers radiation to various parts of the body with tremendous accuracy and precision, enhancing short-course radiotherapy treatment programs such as in Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy and RadioSurgery. Further integration with surface imaging systems allows for real-time motion management, making radiotherapy delivery to exacting treatment sites, such as the breast and prostate gland, even safer and more effective.

Technologies, Treatment Planning and Treatment Techniques

A provider treatment planning on a computer

Treatment simulation with a CT and/or MR scan is the first step in creating a treatment plan. This allows a radiation oncologist to delineate a tumor's volume in relation to the surrounding healthy tissue. UF Health Radiation Oncology leverages a number of technologies for treatment simulation, including a Philips Large Bore multi-slice CT scanner, a Philips Ambition 1.5 Tesla MR scanner, and a centralized multi-modality image registration and archiving system, among other tools.

For treatment planning, UF Health Radiation Oncology employs the Philips Pinnacle 3D and Elekta Monaco treatment planning systems for external radiation beam planning and calculation of dose. The best outcomes are achieved through our novel approach to treatment planning that leverages computer optimization algorithms matched with the treatment goals specified by the physician for each patient. Our individualized treatment plans move through a rigorous quality assurance process before they are employed.

UF Health Radiation Oncology leverages an array or linear accelerators, or LINACs, to deliver external radiation therapy — a common method used for the treatment of tumors through high-doses of x-rays or electrons. One of the main value points the LINAC machines deliver is their capability to zero in on tumors and cancer cells. Rotating around a cancer patient lying on a treatment couch, the LINAC can treat tumors from different angles and reduce the dose to healthy tissue surrounding the target area. The most recent addition to UF Health Radiation Oncology's arsenal is the Elekta Unity MR LINAC, which will allow physicians the ability to visualize tumors and changes within them more accurately and deliver daily treatments more precisely. The machine is one of 42 in use in clinics worldwide and is the only one in use in the southeastern United States.

MR Linac team

At UF Health, stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) allow clinicians to provide high dose radiation therapy in fewer fractions. Learn more about SRA and SBRT by visiting our informational page on the topic. More information on MR-guided radiation therapy can be found on the University of Florida Department of Radiation Oncology's academic site.

In addition to external radiation therapy, UF Health offers brachytherapy, a form of internal radiation treatment that deploys a radioactive source near or in a tumor via a needle or catheter. These are mostly outpatient procedures and usually are done in tandem with external radiation to achieve optimal outcomes.

Systemic radioisotope therapy is also administered at UF Health Radiation Oncology. This is employed through oral and injected radiopharmaceuticals to treat a number of cancer types, including prostate, thyroid and neuroendocrine cancer. UF Health has improved survival rates and experienced much success using systemic radioisotope therapy, and leverages many treatment options, such as Xofigo, Lutathera and PLUVICTO, among others.

Helpful Links

Related Health Topics

Aftercare and more