Radiation therapy for pancreatic cancer

World-renowned radiation therapy in Michigan.

Henry Ford is a world leader in new approaches to radiation therapy and the fast-developing field of radiosurgery, a type of radiation that uses precise, advanced technology to deliver higher doses of radiation in fewer sessions. 

Radiation therapy options for pancreatic cancer 

Our radiation oncologists are a part of your multidisciplinary pancreatic cancer care team. We will develop a personalized treatment plan that’s best for you, after our team of specialists designs and reviews your care. 

We offer world-leading radiation therapy options to treat your pancreatic cancer.

MRI-guided radiation therapy

The Henry Ford Cancer Institute was the first in the world to offer patients an advanced radiation therapy that uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guidance to deliver more precise and accurate radiation treatment. The ViewRay MRIdian Linac® system makes it possible to image the treatment area and deliver radiation at the same time -- more effectively protecting surrounding healthy tissue. 

Stereotactic body radiation therapy

Henry Ford was one of the first in the world to use the EdgeTM radiosurgery system. This system uses higher-than-conventional doses of radiation with fewer treatments with a precise beam. 

Treatments are typically completed within the same week. Each session typically lasts 15 minutes for each of one to seven outpatient visits. 

That helps patients quickly get in and out of treatment, allowing them to resume their lives. The Edge often is an option for older, sicker patients who are not able to tolerate the conventional six weeks of daily radiation sessions. Larger tumors are treated with standard external beam radiation, over five-to-six weeks of daily treatment, about 20 minutes each. Patients will see their radiation oncologist each week. 

In addition to the Edge, we offer several other advanced options for radiosurgery, also known as stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), including:

  • Shaped-beam radiosurgery
  • Image-guided radiosurgery
  • Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT). 

External beam radiation therapy 

External radiation therapy (EBRT) uses beams of radioactive energy to destroy tumors. Some forms of external radiation therapy involve multiple lower doses delivered in several sessions. 

What to expect during radiation therapy

For stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) and external beam radiation therapy (EBRT), patients first undergo CT and other imaging tests so your radiation oncologist and physicists can precisely plot the location of the tumor and the dose of radiation delivered. 

A mold of your body is made during this appointment to ensure you are in the same position for every treatment. 

Your radiation oncologist will explain how your radiation therapy treatment will work and exactly what to expect during your appointment.

Radiation therapy for palliative care

If you are experiencing localized pain, a short course of palliative radiation therapy may alleviate your symptoms. 

For example, we can do palliative radiation for the bone if it has metastasized (spread) from the pancreas. If the cancer has spread to the liver, we typically do palliative chemotherapy instead of radiation therapy. 

Customized care from an expert team

Our radiation oncology team offers access to cutting-edge radiation physics technology applications and clinical trials, including gene therapy for metastatic pancreatic cancer. 

Connect with our Cancer Team 24/7

Call us at (888) 777-4167