For more information, call
Alpharetta Cancer Center
3400 Old Milton Parkway
Alpharetta, GA 30005
Phone: (770) 751-0521
Fax: (678) 566-1611
Atlanta Cancer Center
1000 Johnson Ferry Road
Atlanta, GA 30342
Phone: (404) 851-8850
Fax: (404) 851-6010
Cherokee Cancer Center
1200 Oakside Drive
Canton, GA 30114
Phone: (770) 479-1761
Fax: (770) 720-4480
Forsyth Cancer Center
1100 Northside Forsyth Dr.,
Cumming, GA 30041
Phone: (770) 292-7000
Fax: (770) 292-7002
Northside Hospital Cancer Institute offers the most advanced cancer treatment technology available. Newly designed linear accelerators with stereotactic ability allow us to treat small tumors with unprecedented precision, whether they are in the body or the brain. This technology, combined with our expert, board-certified staff and multiple locations across Georgia, makes Northside a dominant provider of radiation oncology (also known as radiation therapy).
Radiation therapy is one of the most common cancer treatment options. It involves the use of special equipment to deliver high doses of radiation in order to destroy cancer cells. Like surgery, radiation therapy is a localized treatment and may be used externally or internally (also known as brachytherapy) to eradicate cancerous tissues. It may be used alone, or in conjunction with other types of cancer treatment such as chemotherapy and surgery.
The recent expansion of our cancer center network provides a new level of convenience for our patients, allowing them to receive the most advanced treatments close to home. Northside cancer patients see success rates exceeding national averages.
Northside’s Cancer Centers are accredited by the American College of Radiology.
Northside provides comprehensive radiation oncology services across our system including:
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) – A radiation delivery method that involves significant and complex computer planning. It’s a technique for delivering highly controlled (modulated) radiation beams of varying intensities. This allows us to customize and sculpt the radiation dose to avoid or reduce exposure to healthy tissues. IMRT also limits the side effects of treatment while maintaining therapeutic doses to eliminate the cancer.
Rapid Arc IMRT – Delivers radiation directly to a tumor faster than the conventional IMRT. The treatment machine rotates 360 degrees around the patient in order to deliver the radiation to the tumor from multiple angles.
Gamma Knife – Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a non-invasive alternative to brain surgery. It is designed for treatment of malignant and benign brain tumors, vascular abnormalities and functional disorders. The Gamma Knife uses focused beams of radiation from 192 sources of cobalt 60 directed at the target. Thousands of Radiation Beams can be generated from these sources with a level or accuracy of better than 0.5 mm. By using so many beams, this allows for the optimal treatment plan to be generated to treat the target and at the same time minimize the amount of radiation to the surrounding healthy tissue. Due to the accuracy of the Gamma Knife Perfexion, the full dose of radiation can be delivered during a single session, even in situations where multiple tumors need to be treated. Treatments are delivered in the outpatient setting and the patient can return home the same day after the treatment is completed.
Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) – A highly precise form of radiation therapy that delivers focused beams with an accuracy of within one to two millimeters to area in the Brain.
Stereotactic Radiotherapy (SRT) – Delivers precise radiation for treatment of small to medium size tumors in the body. SRT is usually prescribed for one to five sessions over the course of one to two weeks.
High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy – Uses catheters that are placed inside or very close to the tumor. The radioactive source is then inserted into the catheter and the treatment is delivered. This technique allows a maximum dose of radiation to be delivered to the cancerous tissues while limiting the radiation exposure to the healthy surrounding tissues. Upon completion of the treatment, the radioactive source and the applicator are removed.
Prostate Seed Implantation – An outpatient procedure that is performed in the operating room by an urologist and radiation oncologist. Radioactive seeds are permanently implanted into the prostate gland. The number of seeds and where they are placed is determined by a computer-generated treatment plan. Ultrasound imaging is utilized for guidance of the placement of the seeds.
Image-Guided Radiation Therapy – Images are obtained of the patient while on the treatment table and in their treatment position. The treatment machine is equipped with special imaging technology that allows imaging immediately before and during the time the radiation is delivered. Using specialized computer software the images are compared to reference images taken during simulation. Any necessary adjustments are made to the patient’s position or radiation beam in order to achieve precise and accurate treatment delivery to the treatment area while avoiding surrounding healthy tissues.
Vision RT – Vision RT provides the ability to accurately position and monitors the patient on the radiation treatment machine without exposing the patient to any additional radiation dose. While it can be used to assist with the treatment of a majority of radiation patients, there are certain procedures offered at Northside where the technology is an essential tool for treatment. For example, deep inspiration breath hold is a technique designed to minimize radiation dose to the heart for patients receiving radiation to their left breast. By taking a deep breath during treatment the patient’s heart moves away from the breast tissue therefore reducing the heart dose. Vision RT provides visual feedback throughout the treatment procedure to ensure that radiation is only delivered when the patient is in the correct breath hold position. Similarly, the sub-millimeter precision of it offers the ideal tool to assist with the setup and monitoring of patients that are receiving very high radiation doses to small targets within the body.
Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (APBI) i.e. MammoSite, Contura, and SAVI – A form of brachytherapy used to treat breast cancer after a lumpectomy. Because the treatment works from inside the breast, a higher dose of radiation can be used for a shorter period of time (five days). The procedure involves inserting a small balloon inside the lumpectomy cavity, the radioactive source is placed inside the balloon and the treatment is delivered. Once treatment is completed the balloon is removed and the patient can return to normal activities.
CT Simulation with 4-D Gating – With this technology, the radiation oncologist is able to create a computer-generated treatment plan for delivering radiation to tumors that move when a patient breathes. An infrared camera connected to a CT scanner takes 4-D images in a video sequence that demonstrates how the tumor moves during the patient’s normal breathing cycle. This enables the physician to determine how to deliver the desired radiation dose to the tumor with the most precision and minimal risk of damaging healthy surrounding tissue.
Total Body Irradiation (TBI) – Irradiation of the entire body, used primarily to prepare patients who are undergoing stem cell transplantation for hematologic conditions such as leukemia or lymphoma. TBI suppresses the immune system and kills diseased bone marrow cells, which helps reduce the risk of the patient’s body later rejecting transplanted tissue and increases the likelihood of a successful transplant.