Radiation therapy

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

  • A single treatment approach for definitive cure
  • A pre-operative adjuvant 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 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. 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 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.

Special radiation 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
  • 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
  • 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.

Side effects

  • Skin irritation
  • Muscosal irritation
  • Other effects related to the treatment site

Related Health Topics

Aftercare and more