Radiation Medicine Treatments for Gastrointenstinal Cancer at MedStar Georgetown
Although gastrointestinal (GI) cancers are common, each diagnosis is different. For each MedStar Georgetown patient a team of GI cancer specialists— including surgeons, medical oncologists, pathologists, radiologists and support service staff— works together to develop a multidisciplinary treatment plan.
We have the most technologically advanced treatment options available and participate in clinical research trials, giving new hope to those with complex cases.
MedStar Georgetown Radiation Medicine commonly treats:
- Bile Duct Cancer
- Colon (Colorectal) Cancer
- Esophageal Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Pancreatic Cancer
Radiation Medicine will be part of the treatment plan for many patients with GI cancer. Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays called photons, which can destroy cancer cells during high dose radiation treatments. This happens on the microscopic level. Patients do not feel the radiation during treatment. New technology allows physicians to treat the tumor with pinpoint accuracy, leaving surrounding healthy tissue virtually untouched and minimizing side effects.
Specific treatment plans might include:
- External Beam Radiation: The most frequently used treatment, external beam radiation focuses radiation on the treatment area from external machines. Radiation conforms to the shape of the tumor, treating the cancer while limiting the exposure to normal tissue. External therapy is usually given over a six-week period. Technologies include:
- Three-dimensional Radiation Therapy (3D-CRT)
- Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
- Internal Radiation: Applies sealed sources of radioactive microscopic beads and implants them directly inside tumors. As a result, tumors are treated with very high doses of radiation while the dose to surrounding healthy tissue is minimized. This procedure is often used to treat liver tumors.
- CyberKnife Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) - Delivers large doses of highly focused, convergent beams of ionizing radiation to the prostate tumor site and can reach areas inoperable though traditional surgery.
- Proton Beam Therapy – Uses energy from protons instead of photons, allowing high dose radiation with no exit dose, resulting in fewer side effects than traditional radiation.
Appointment hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Make an Appointment
For more information or to schedule an appointment with a radiation oncologist, call our scheduling line:
Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
Radiation Medicine is an integral part of the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of the only National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated comprehensive cancer centers in the Washington, D.C., area.
The Department of Radiation Oncology conducts continuing clinical research that focuses on ways to more effectively and safely treat tumors with radiation while minimizing the amount of radiation critical organs and nearby healthy tissue receive.
Ask your physician to learn more about the research at MedStar Georgetown.