UC San Diego Health offers a range of advanced radiation therapy services. The diversity of these approaches enable us to tailor a treatment plan that will target your cancer while minimizing healthy tissue's exposure to radiation.
Our services include external beam therapy with:
- Conformal radiation therapy (CRT)
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
- Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT)
- Volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT).
We also offer:
- Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) to treat brain cancers
- Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) to treat liver and lung (thoracic) cancers
- Brachytherapy, used often for prostate and breast cancers.
In addition, UC San Diego Health physicians offer proton therapy at California Protons Cancer Therapy Center, one of the largest and most advanced proton therapy centers in the nation.
For details on each kind of treatment, see
Types of Radiation Therapy.
Types of Cancers Treated
The following cancers can be treated with radiation therapy:
What to Expect
Radiation therapy is a five-step process:
Consultation: You will meet with a physician and other members of the radiation oncology team to discuss the best treatment options available for you.
Simulation: Computed tomography (CT) simulation is the most accurate way to precisely define the treatment area, and allows a physician to design a plan unique to your anatomy. The simulation will determine your proper positioning on the treatment table, used throughout your course of treatment. Customized immobilization devices (to help patients remain still during treatments) are often created during simulation sessions.
Treatment plan: Using information from your simulation session, dosimetrists work closely with your radiation oncologist and medical physicist to develop the best treatment plan.
Radiation treatment: Treatment usually begins one week after the simulation appointment. Radiotherapy treatments are usually five days per week for four to six weeks. (Your physician will determine the total number of treatments.) At each appointment, a therapist will position you on the table exactly as you were at the time of simulation.
Follow-up care: Follow-up visits are intended to monitor your progress and address any side effects you might be experiencing. These appointments are generally scheduled at three or six-month intervals.
About Our Team
UC San Diego Health is home to one of the most advanced radiation oncology centers in the nation. We have the medical devices, including nine linear accelerators, and the specialized expertise to treat any kind of malignancy. Because of our ability to delivered advanced, specialized care, many (if not most) of our patients are referred to us by other providers. We are, for example, the only radiation oncology center in the county that treats children with cancer. Our patients also benefit from our mission and vision as the region's only academic health care center. Every physician within our radiation oncology team is active in peer-reviewed research related to radiation oncology. This emphasis on original research and medical scholarship helps to ensure that our patients will benefit from the best available science and the most current state of understanding of the ever-changing field of cancer care.