St. Anthony’s Cancer Care Center

Radiation Therapy

Sometimes, a lung tumor is unresectable, meaning it cannot be removed surgically. At St. Anthony’s Cancer Care Center, we offer hope to patients with unresectable lung tumors. Through the use of our state-of-the-art radiation technology and chemotherapy treatments, we can treat tumors through means other than surgery.

Radiation therapy is the use of high-powered waves of radiation to destroy cancer cells. Today’s advanced radiation therapy systems allow doctors to target just the tumor, sparing the surrounding healthy tissues and organs.

Patients with lung cancer receive external-beam radiation therapy. You lie on a table and a machine delivers the radiation into your body. This kind of therapy is carefully planned. Based on scans and images of the tumor, your radiation oncologist carefully sculpts the radiation beam to match the shape of the tumor. This way, a higher dose can be safely used, since only the tumor will receive the radiation.

Usually, radiation therapy is given in cycles. You come for a treatment session, which may last a few weeks. Then you have a break for your body to recover before receiving more treatments.

What to expect during radiation therapy

  • You undergo a series of MRIs to precisely pinpoint the tumor.
  • Your radiation oncologist and surgeon work carefully to map the exact location of the tumor.
  • The radiation beam is sculpted to match the tumor as closely as possible, so the radiation hits only the tumor and spares the surrounding tissues.
  • You receive the radiation therapy.
  • You undergo follow-up MRI scans to determine whether you need another course of treatment.

Trilogy system to treat lung cancer

At St. Anthony’s Cancer Care Center, we use the Trilogy™ Stereotactic Image-Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT) System, the most advanced form of external-beam radiation therapy. The Trilogy system is able to deliver higher doses of radiation to a smaller area of your body over a shorter period of time. During the treatment, the radiation beam changes shape hundreds of time to match the tumor.