Radiation & Chemotherapy for Brain Cancer

  • Dheerendra Prasad, MD, MCh, FACRO and Lorna Fitzpatrick, MD with the Trilogy Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) System. RPCI is the only institution in Western New York equipped with this machine.

Radiotherapy Approaches

RPCI’s Radiation Medicine Department provides a full range of radiation treatments, including:

Image-Guided Radiation Therapy

RPCI is the only institution in Western New York equipped with the Trilogy Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) System, an innovative computer-assisted device that can deliver radiation more than 60 percent faster than conventional radiation therapy equipment. The Trilogy is precise enough to pinpoint an area as small as one millimeter — about the width of a coarse grain of sand.

Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT)

SBRT delivers very high doses of sharply focused radiation, guided by up-to-the-moment images that capture the tumor’s exact shape and location. SBRT, which can knock out radiation-resistant tumors, even where radiation has already been delivered, offers a welcome alternative to patients who cannot tolerate surgery because of other medical conditions. SBRT requires a sizable team of highly specialized experts including radiation physicists, dosimetrists, and medical technicians. Roswell Park is only one of a few institutions in North America where this treatment is available.

Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) or 3-Dimensional Conformal Radiation Therapy

Using a computer-controlled device, called a linear accelerator, these treatments enable precise doses of radiation to be delivered to tumors or to target specific areas within the tumors.

Medical Treatment Approaches

While some tumor types respond to drug treatment, especially when combined with other therapies, chemotherapy choices are limited because of the blood-brain barrier, the brain’s natural defense system that prevents foreign substances, including many medications, from entering the brain.

Our neuro-oncologists perform intrathecal chemotherapy, a procedure that circumvents the blood-brain barrier and can reach the brain tumor.