Radiation Oncology

Radiotherapy
Radiotherapy is one of the oldest and most effective treatment method which use high energetic X-rays, electron clusters and radioactive isotope to kill tumor cells and reduce tumor size. Radiotherapy prevent growing and replication of tumor cells damaging their genetic material. Effects of the radiation on tumor cells occur via ionization. This effect is realized in two ways; some of them dies immediately after radiation and the others cannot replicate because of the chromosomal and DNA damage and then after they die. Although normal cells may also suffer from radiation normal tissues improve and recover with their function.


What is Radiotherapy, how does it work?

Radiotherapy is one of the oldest and most effective treatment method which use high energetic X-rays, electron clusters and radioactive isotope to kill tumor cells and reduce tumor size. Radiotherapy prevents growing and replication of tumor cells damaging their genetic material. Effects of the radiation on tumor cells occur via ionization. This effect is realized in two ways; some of them dies immediately after radiation and the others cannot replicate because of the chromosomal and DNA damage and then after they die. Although normal cells may also suffer from radiation normal tissues improve and recover with their function.


Currently radiotherapy has been improved not only in treatment results but also prevention of the side effects through technologic development and became one of the most successful treatments. For a successful radiotherapy whereas tumor should be exposed to appropriate and effective doses adjacent normal tissues should be exposed to minimum doses. While it was not possible to reach this goal by conventional methods, new technical methods allow supplying most convenient irradiation. Most common use of these methods is 3 Dimensional Conformal Radiotherapy (3DCR). Treatment planning with 3 dimensions which is obtained by adding depth dimension to 2 dimensions (width and length) of conventional methods by means of computer is called 3 dimensional treatment planning.
During the planning and treatment phases tumor and normal tissue volumes can be determined accurately so that dose insufficiency can be prevented. When the treatment volume conforms to the shape of the tumor, a higher dose of radiation can be delivered to the tumor allowing a higher local control and survival rate. Additionally the relative toxicity of radiation to the surrounding normal tissues is reduced and life quality of the patient increases.


Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
This is an advanced type of 3 Dimensional Conformal Radiotherapy (3DCR). The pattern of radiation delivery is determined using highly-tailored computing applications to perform optimization and treatment simulation. The radiation dose intensity is elevated near the gross tumor volume while radiation among the neighboring normal tissue is decreased or avoided completely. The customized radiation dose is intended to maximize tumor dose while simultaneously protecting the surrounding normal tissue. Even if planning and application of IMRT takes time longer than classic techniques this may result in better tumor targeting, lessened side effects, and improved treatment outcomes particularly in some cancer types.


Currently IMRT is used in treatment of prostate, head and neck, breast, thyroid, lung, gynecologic and liver cancer, brain tumors, lymphoma and sarcoma. IMRT is also useful in the treatment of pediatric tumors.


In our clinic all equipments have linked to each other by a network so that it is possible to make data transfer. Thus manual errors can be minimalized. In addition it is possible to make image transfer from PET-CT for better disease area detection.


Linear accelerator
In our radiotherapy unit a high technologic linear accelerator which generates high energetic X-ray is being used. With this linear accelerator (Siemens Oncor) it is possible to treat the patients using 6 and 15 MV photon energy and 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21 MeV electron energy. By means of multileaf and asymmetric collimator it is possible to maximize tumor dose while simultaneously protecting the surrounding normal tissue. Electronic portal imaging allows having online images of treatment area during the treatment.

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