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ABOUT THE RADIATION THERAPY UNIT
Radiation therapy is a local treatment technique that uses radiation. It is used primarily to fight cancer. The principle involves the destruction of targeted cancer cells while preserving the surrounding healthy tissue.
Over half of all cancers can be treated with radiation therapy. It is generally combined with other treatments such as surgery and/or chemotherapy. It often helps to avoid major surgery and preserve the damaged organ.
Radiation therapy can be administered to the tissues in two ways:
- Through external beam radiation therapy, the most widely used technique, which consists in aiming photon or electron beams into the tumour.
- Through brachytherapy, a technique by which a radioactive source (or several) is brought into contact with or implanted temporarily or permanently in the area where the tumour is located. This helps to achieve very precise aim and optimal preservation of the surrounding healthy tissue. Our unit has established an international reputation in the area of prostate brachytherapy.
The biological effect of ionising radiation is to induce breaks in the DNA of the tumour cells, causing them to die.
This type of treatment requires very detailed planning, during which different specialists interact with each other (radiation oncologist, medical physicist and radiation therapist). The volumes to be irradiated are identified precisely by means of a dedicated CT scan, together with, if needed, a PET scan or an MRI, performed each time in the position in which treatment is administered. Because of these different scans, a personalised treatment plan is established that takes into account the individual specificities and the healthy organs surrounding the volumes treated.
To guarantee the efficacy and quality of the treatments administered, a chain of custody and of events is scrupulously followed.
The projected dosimetry of each patient is carefully established by a dosimetrist or a physicist, verified by a second medical physicist and validated by the radiation oncologists. All the parameters of each treatment plan are verified point by point. Systematic quality controls are conducted prior to the start of and during each treatment.
Every day, the machines are checked before starting them up and the patient's position on the table is carefully checked.
During treatment, the patient will be monitored by his/her doctor and the nurses.
At Europe Hospitals, the Radiation Therapy Unit is equipped with two linear accelerators and a dedicated PET-CT simulator, all three being latest generation, allowing for the delivery of treatment to the patients using the most cutting-edge techniques.
The Unit also offers low dose-rate (LDR) or high dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy for, among other conditions, the treatment of some types of prostate, gynaecological and skin cancer.
Since 2014, the Unit is ISO 9001 certified. This guarantees our patients continuous oversight and improvement of the all the processes implemented, of their satisfaction and the quality of care delivered to them during their entire treatment period. The Unit is composed of an interdisciplinary team comprising radiation oncologists, medical physicists, nurses, radiation therapists, and secretaries.
The pool of equipment allows for the delivery of different types of radiation therapy treatments:
- Intensity modulated radiation therapy
- Rotational or arc-modulated radiation therapy
- Stereotactic radiation therapy (small volume focal radiation with several beams)