Cancer Treatments & Cancer Therapies at Northside Hospital Cancer Institute

Throughout our 50 cancer centers across Georgia, Northside Hospital Cancer Institute (NHCI) offers our patients access to the most advanced cancer treatment options available today. Along with leading edge technologies, Northside Hospital Cancer Institute provides compassionate and personalized care for our patients.

We understand there is no one-size-fits-all to cancer treatment – cancer treatment options vary by cancer, condition and each patient, even those diagnosed with the same type of cancer respond differently to cancer treatments. Northside Hospital Cancer Institute is Georgia’s leader in cancer surgeries. Our multidisciplinary team of cancer specialists work individually with each patient to develop an evidence-based treatment plan designed to meet each cancer patient’s needs so they can get back to living their lives to the fullest.

Northside Hospital Cancer Institute offers the following cancer treatment options:


Most people with cancer will undergo some form of surgery as part of their treatment. Surgery may be used in diagnosing cancer, staging cancer, treating cancer, debulking (or surgical removal of as much of a tumor as possible), relieving cancer symptoms, and even preventing cancer.

When diagnosing cancer, a physician typically performs a biopsy, or extracts a sample of tissue from the suspicious area, to determine if it's cancer or not; the cancer and some of the adjacent tissue are usually removed during this surgical procedure and can be performed on an outpatient basis. Cancer treatment surgery also can be helpful in collecting information to predict whether or not the cancer will come back.

To learn more about some of the cancer surgery options available at Northside, please expand the content below.

Many of our cancer surgeons perform groundbreaking robot-assisted surgery as part of cancer treatment, allowing them to operate with increased precision and versatility. Robotic surgery offers patients the benefit of minimal scarring, reduced recovery time and shorter hospital stays, and is generally used for to treat the following cancers:

Ablation therapy refers to treatments that destroy tumors without removing them, usually with extreme heat or cold. These techniques are used in patients with a few small tumors and when surgery is not a good option (often because of poor health). They are less likely to cure the cancer than surgery, but they can still be very helpful for some people.

Often, ablation can be done without surgery by inserting a needle or probe into the tumor through the skin. The needle or probe is guided into place with ultrasound or CT scanning. Sometimes, though, to be sure the treatment is aimed at the right place, it may be done during surgery.

Northside offers the following ablation techniques:

  • Cryosurgery (or cryotherapy)
  • Ethanol (alcohol) ablation
  • Microwave ablation
  • Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)

Embolization therapy is a cancer treatment procedure that injects substances to try to block or reduce the blood flow to cancer cells. This option allows doctors to focus on treating metastatic tumors, while limiting the treatment effects on healthy parts of the body. It is an option for some patients with tumors that cannot be removed by surgery. It can be used for tumors that are too large to be treated with ablation. Embolization can also be used alongside ablation therapy.

  • Arterial embolization
  • Chemoembolization
  • Radioembolization

Learn more about surgery options to treat cancer at Northside Hospital.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy (also known as radiation oncology) is one of the most commonly used cancer treatments. It involves the use of special equipment to deliver high doses of radiation in order to destroy cancer cells.

Northside Hospital Cancer Institute offers more radiation oncology centers and advanced radiation therapy treatment units than any other hospital system in Georgia. Newly designed linear accelerators with stereotactic capabilities 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 radiation oncologists, accessible at multiple locations across Georgia, makes Northside a dominant provider of radiation therapy.

Learn more about the services and treatment options our Radiation Oncology Program provides.

Cancer Drugs

There are many different types of cancer drugs and ways to use them to treat cancer patients. Some drugs, such as chemotherapy, are designed specifically to kill cancer cells. While targeted therapy may use cancer drugs to kill cancer cells or to turn off the process in cancer cells that causes them to grow and divide (targeted therapy).Another treatment, called hormone therapy uses drugs to block or change the way that hormones work to fight cancer cells.

Please click on the cancer drug therapies below to expand the content and learn more about each treatment option.

Chemotherapy involves the use of medicine to treat cancer. More than half of all people diagnosed with cancer receive chemotherapy, as it may be a potential treatment option for most forms of cancer. The thought of having chemotherapy may be frightening, but for millions of people, this approach is effective and gets them back to enjoying full, productive lives. Many side effects once associated with chemotherapy can now be prevented or controlled, allowing people to go on with their normal activities during treatment. Chemotherapy may be administered intravenously, injected into a body cavity, or delivered orally in the form of a pill.

At Northside Hospital Infusion Centers, chemotherapy is dispensed on an outpatient basis by registered nurses (RNs) certified in chemotherapy administration, who also provide ongoing physical assessments.

Find a Northside Chemotherapy Infusion Center Near You.

Chemotherapy: Questions to ask your doctor

When cancer arises in areas of the body such as the breast or prostate, its growth may be caused by hormones. Hormones stimulate the growth of hormone sensitive tissues, and drugs that block or change the way hormones work can fight some cancers. Removal of organs that secrete hormones, such as the ovaries or testicles, may also prove as effective treatment for hormone-stimulated cancers.

Targeted therapies are designed to only treat the cancer cells, and therefore, minimize damage to normal, healthy cells. In order to become cancer cells, healthy cells must go through a process called carcinogenosis. Targeted cancer therapy disrupts this process and the cellular changes necessary for development and growth.

Targeted therapy: questions to ask your doctor


Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that relies on the body's infection-fighting system (immune system). It uses substances made by the body or in a lab to help the immune system work harder or in a more targeted way to fight cancer. This helps your body get rid of cancer cells.

To learn more about immunotherapy, expand the content below.

Immunotherapy works by stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells, preventing cancer from spreading to other parts of the body or by boosting the immune system's ability to get rid of cancer cells. Learn more

T-cells are a type of lymphocyte, or white blood cells that make up part of a patient’s immune system. T-cells help the body fight diseases or harmful substances, such as bacteria or viruses. However, T-cells are not very good at recognizing and fighting cancer cells.

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is a type of immunotherapy designed to help the body’s own immune system recognize and fight cancer cells. It is one of the most promising immunotherapy treatments available. Northside Hospital Cancer Institute is among select centers in the country offering chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy for treating some patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Learn more about CAR T-Cell Therapy at Northside Hospital Cancer Institute.

Cellular Therapy

Cellular therapy is a treatment that harnesses the immune system to fight cancer using cells from the patient or from healthy donors.

A stem cell transplant, or bone marrow transplant, is a procedure to replace damaged or destroyed bone marrow with healthy bone marrow stem cells. Doctors also treat some blood diseases with stem cell transplants.

A stem cell transplant is usually done after chemotherapy and radiation is complete. The stem cells are delivered into your bloodstream usually through a tube called a central venous catheter. The process is similar to getting a blood transfusion. The stem cells travel through the blood into the bone marrow. Most times, no surgery is needed.

Bone marrow transplants are typically a treatment option for patients with leukemia, multiple myeloma, or some types of lymphoma.

The Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) Program at Northside Hospital Cancer Institute (NHCI) is one of the largest and most comprehensive programs of its kind in the Southeast and has among the best survival rates in the nation for bone marrow transplants.

Learn more about our Blood and Marrow Transplant Program.

Palliative Care

Palliative care is specialized, comprehensive treatment of the discomfort, symptoms and stress of a serious illness. The goal of Northside Hospital’s Palliative Care Team is to improve the quality of life for patients, their families and caregivers. Palliative care services provide relief from pain, nausea, shortness of breath, anxiety and other distressing symptoms. Palliative care can also help patients and their families deal with complex decisions, and cope with the side effects of medical and cancer treatments.

Northside’s Palliative Care Team is interdisciplinary, combining the expertise and knowledge of physicians, nurses, clinical social workers, case managers and chaplains. The team collaborates with a patient’s personal medical team to implement a comprehensive treatment plan addressing physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs. Palliative care is available to patients at all three Northside Hospital campuses and can be incorporated at anytime during treatment, regardless of the stage of illness, and can be offered alongside life-prolonging treatment such as chemotherapy.

Palliative care services offered at Northside Hospital include:

  • Comprehensive and compassionate care to patients in the hospital facing a life threatening illness.
  • Coordinated care with a patient’s medical team.
  • Expertise in pain and symptom management.
  • Facilitation of discussions and decisions concerning goals of care and advance directives.
  • Assistance in coordinating care across all health care settings and ensuring that care provided correlates with patient and family values, culture and belief.

To learn more about the Northside Hospital palliative care services available at Northside Hospital Atlanta, Northside Hospital Cherokee and Northside Hospital Forsyth, patients and caregivers should contact their doctor or other health care provider.

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are studies that involve people and are a critical part of oncology research. These studies test new ways to prevent, detect, diagnose or treat cancer. Northside Hospital Cancer Institute’s Research Program is one of the largest community-based oncology/hematology programs in the nation.

It is one of only a handful of programs that offers Phase I-IV clinical research. People who take part in cancer clinical trials have an opportunity to contribute to scientists’ knowledge about cancer and to help in the development of improved cancer treatments. They also receive state-of-the-art care from cancer experts.

Learn more about Clinical Trials at Northside