Radiation treatment delivers a high uniform dose of radiation in an effort to destroy or reduce-in-size a tumor while sparing the normal surrounding tissues and organs.
We partner with the MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute at Long Beach Medical Center to deliver state-of-the-art radiation treatment to children and adolescents with cancer. A radiation oncologist and a radiation oncology pediatric team—that has completed special training in pediatric oncology and radiation oncology—focus on delivering radiotherapy to young children and adolescents.
In some cases, very young children may require sedation prior to receiving their radiation treatment. If required, general anesthesiologists from Miller Children's & Women’s will deliver medication to calm or put a child to sleep for the radiotherapy session.
Types of radiation therapy for children and adolescents:
- TomoTherapy - Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
TomoTherapy HI-Art system is the most advanced radiation delivery system. It creates precise 3-D imaging of the tumor site from computerized tomography (CT scanning). This is to ensure the tumor hasn’t moved or changed shape, and then highly targeted radiation beams deliver radiation to the exact “mapped” tumor location, treating the tumor while minimizing damage to surrounding tissues.
- Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) is useful for tumors that are close to normal tissues, especially those tissues whose tolerance for radiation is much lower than the radiation dose prescribed. A precision radiation beam-shaping device conforms the radiation beam to the shape of the tumor.
- External Beam Linear Accelerator
External beam radiation therapy uses a linear accelerator to focus powerful beams of X-rays to kill cancer cells. Photons or electrons are delivered through an external beam to cancerous tissue in either very superficial cancer or a cancer that involves an entire region of the body.
Radiation sources (often called “seeds” or radioisotopes) are implanted directly into or near a tumor, delivering doses of radiation to the tumor while delivering little radiation to the surrounding healthy tissue.