Brain Cancer Radiation Therapy

Brain cancer radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to damage the DNA of cancer cells in the brain. This kills the cells, helping to shrink tumors and prevent future tumor growth.

The most advanced brain cancer radiation therapies

The Henry Ford Department of Radiation Oncology is a leader in advanced radiation therapies that deliver precise treatment to brain cancer cells while sparing surrounding healthy tissue. All brain tumor radiation therapies are administered with an external beam, which means that the radiation is delivered from outside the body in a non-invasive procedure.

We have pioneered the development and improvement of many types of external beam brain cancer radiation therapies, including:

3-D conformal radiation therapy: This treatment uses sophisticated imaging scans and computer modeling to conform the brain tumor radiation therapy to the tumor’s shape. With this level of precision, we can ensure the safe delivery of higher doses of radiation directly to cancer cells.

Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT): This is a type of 3-D conformal radiation therapy that uses additional computer modeling and differing levels (intensities) of radiation therapy. Higher-intensity radiation is delivered to the targeted tumor and lower levels of radiation are delivered to surrounding tissue that may contain cancer cells -- while nearby critical structures and organs are avoided altogether.

Radiosurgery (SRS/ “Gamma-Knife”): Henry Ford has advanced the use of shaped-beam radiosurgery, which allows us to treat challenging primary and metastatic tumors anywhere in the brain. Also known as stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), this technology combines advanced imaging, motion management tools that monitor the tumor location throughout treatment and compensate for patient movement, and high doses of precise radiation. Henry Ford Hospital was the first in North America to offer the EDGE®, the most advanced radiosurgery treatment available.

All of these options are considered as part of your personalized cancer treatment plan.

Brain tumor radiation therapy safety and side effects

Radiation safety is a top priority at the Henry Ford Department of Radiation Oncology and a part of our culture of safety at Henry Ford Health System. Our team of radiation oncologists, radiation physicists, radiation biologists, radiation therapists and radiation safety experts work to make the design and delivery of radiation treatment safe for every patient at Henry Ford.

With any brain cancer radiation treatment, there is the potential for side effects, which can vary depending on the type of radiation therapy you receive. Our goal is to deliver the most effective radiation treatment while ensuring safety and minimizing side effects. Your Hermelin Brain Tumor Center team will review your personalized treatment plan with you and discuss possible side effects before brain cancer radiation therapy begins, so that you can make informed decisions about your care.

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Clinical Trials

Cancer Institute