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March 9, 2014 - 6:37am | 46°F
The radiation oncology program of the Radiation Therapy Center (RTC) at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport focuses on “what is best for cancer patients.”
In order to fulfill its goal of providing excellent care for cancer patients, state-of-the-art technology in radiation oncology is available for the individualized treatment of patients. The RTC is equipped with an Elekta (dual photon energy and several electron beam energies) Linear Accelerator with a 80-leaf MLCs; a Varian GammaMed High-Dose Rate (HDR) portable radiation unit; a Phillips Pinnacle treatment planning system (for creation of conformal dose distribution such as that employed in intensity modulated radiation therapy/IMRT); IKOE-Engelo contouring software; an AcqSim computed tomography simulator (for accurate 3D target volume delineation); an IMPAC (record and verify) information system; and electronic portal imaging (which allows for verification of the targeted tumor-containing area).
Innovative approaches pertaining to radiotherapy (i.e. IMRT) are constantly explored, so long as they are associated with evidence-based favorable effects relative to promoting an improved quality of life and perhaps prolongation of survival.
IMRT is a treatment delivery system in which the key element is the creation of a dose distribution shaped according to the configuration of the target tumor and adjacent critical structures. The recognized advantages of IMRT afforded to patients include an increased chance of cure, a reduced possibility of treatment-related complications, an avenue for palliative retreatment of recurrent tumors, and another treatment option in cases of unresectable cancers.
The HDR brachytherapy unit is primarily an automated remote afterloading device, which allows the insertion of the radioactive source from a storage safe that is remote but connected to the patient by various tube attachments. HDR brachytherapy is used to treat various cancers (i.e. cancer of the mouth, esophagus, bronchus and cervix). The technology is geared to administer a far higher dose of radiation to the tumor than to surrounding healthy tissues. Some of its advantages include the absence of radiation exposure to the RTC personnel and visitors, the elimination of radiation source misplacement or loss, and the confinement of the radiation source in a closed environment (the source safe and delivery tubes).
The RTC begins by showing the patient a 10-minute video that describes the radiation treatment planning procedures and the actual administration of radiation treatment itself. The video is used in conjunction with written materials, including the NCI’s Radiation Therapy and You book. Next, a nurse reviews the given materials with the patient and the steps involved with regard to radiotherapy. Lastly, the radiation oncologist who is a member of Feist-Weiller Cancer Center’s multidisciplinary management team provides more information. His role is to accurately assess the stage of the patient’s illness, set treatment goals appropriate for the determined extent of disease, furnish intelligence about treatment options, establish the pertinent number of weeks of radiotherapy for the patient, as well as the potential favorable and adverse effects of irradiation.
The Radiation Therapy Center is easily accessible and free parking is available. The RTC accommodates patients in accordance with special needs.
Referring physicians at LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport may send a request for radiation oncology consultation through the Invision System of the hospital. Outside referring physicians should call the Radiation Therapy Center, and nurses will contact the patient to schedule a visit with the Radiation Therapy Center’s radiation oncologist.
Radiation Therapy Center Phone 318.675.8910 or 318.675.8843
Chief of Division Federico Ampil, MD
Chief Medical Physicist John Chang, PhD, DABMP, DABR
Radiation Therapy Center Support
Feist-Weiller Cancer Center • 1501 Kings Highway • Shreveport, LA 71103
LSU Health Shreveport is an equal opportunity affirmative action institution.
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