Radiation for Brain Tumors

As part of your personalized treatment plan, your team may recommend high-energy radiation to damage the DNA of cancer cells in the brain. This radiation therapy kills the cells, helping to shrink tumors and prevent future tumor growth.

All radiation for brain tumors is given with external beams, meaning the radiation is delivered from outside the body in a non-invasive procedure.

Leading radiation for brain cancer at Henry Ford

Henry Ford’s Department of Radiation Oncology is a leader in advanced radiation therapies for brain tumor treatment. These techniques deliver precise treatment to cancer cells in the brain while sparing surrounding healthy tissue.

Henry Ford radiation specialists have pioneered the development and improvement of many types of radiation therapy for brain tumors, including:

  • MRI and linear accelerator (ViewRay MRIdian® Linac): Henry Ford Cancer is the first in Michigan — and first in the world — to offer patients an advanced radiation therapy that uses an FDA-approved real-time magnetic resonance imaging and linear accelerator delivery for more precise and accurate radiation treatment.
  • 3-D conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT): This treatment uses sophisticated imaging scans and computer modeling to match 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 radiation therapy (IMRT): This type of 3-D conformal radiation therapy uses additional computer modeling and varying 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. Nearby critical structures and organs are avoided altogether.
  • Radiosurgery: 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 radiosurgery (SRS), this technology allows us to deliver high doses of radiation safely and precisely. It combines advanced imaging with tools that monitor the tumor’s location throughout treatment and compensate for your movement. Henry Ford was the first program in North America to offer EDGE®, the most advanced radiosurgery treatment available.

Safety and side effects of radiation to the brain

These treatments come with the potential for brain radiation side effects, which can vary between radiation therapy types. Our goal is to deliver the most effective radiation treatment while minimizing side effects. Your safety is also a top priority, both within the Department of Radiation Oncology and throughout the Henry Ford Health.

Your Hermelin Brain Tumor Center team will review your treatment plan with you and discuss possible side effects before any brain cancer radiation therapy begins. We want you to make informed decisions about your care.

Your team of radiation specialists also works with you to make the design and delivery of treatment safe and effective. Team members include:

  • Radiation oncologists
  • Radiation physicists
  • Radiation biologists
  • Radiation therapists
  • Radiation safety experts

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