Radiation therapy delivers a high dose of radiation in an effort to destroy or reduce a tumor’s size while sparing the normal surrounding tissues and organs.
As one of the world's leading centers caring for children and adolescents with cancer, our Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center pediatric radiation oncologists work closely with specialists at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to treat children using advanced radiation technology.
We’re part of a multi-disciplinary care team that includes pediatric oncologists and pathologists, and in some cases, pediatric neuro-oncologists, surgeons and neuro-surgeons. Our treatment facility, located at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, uses the newest possible technology and our specialists individualize each child’s treatment.
For our very young patients, we also offer specialized pediatric anesthesia procedures during simulation or radiotherapy treatments.
Our staff radiation oncologists are entirely focused on delivering radiotherapy to young children and adolescents, and they’ve completed special training in pediatric oncology and radiation oncology.
Why radiation therapy?
Radiation therapy is the single most effective cancer-treating agent. Tumors are rarely resistant to radiation therapy. However, the effectiveness of radiation therapy is limited because it can damage normal, healthy tissue. With better imaging and faster computers, coupled with improved radiation delivery systems, we’ve improved our ability to localize the dose of radiation to the tumor-bearing area, sparing most normal tissues.
Our facility is equipped with state of the art radiation therapy technology for the delivery of highly localized, "conformal," radiation therapy. Currently, our therapeutic machines and technologies to treat our patients include:
- two Novalis linear accelerators with IMRT and IGRT capability for intracranial lesions
- a dedicated total body irradiation facility
- two linear accelerators with IMRT capabilities for extra cranial tumors and electron beam treatment
- two Rapid-Arc linear accelerators
- Stereotactic body radiotherapy
- three CT-simulator with virtual simulation capability
- Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
- a conventional simulator with digital features
- treatment planning computational and imaging computers
- High Dose Rate Brachytherapy
- a specialized team for delivering anesthesia during simulation or radiotherapy treatments to children who require this