Treating Your Cancer : Browse by Cancer Type

Re-treatment with Radiation

Treatment of an area that has previously received radiation is very difficult and greatly increases the risk of side effects if not done properly.

UHealth radiation oncologists have been re-treating patients with radiation for many years. Re-treatment has been greatly simplified by the use of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) techniques, which allow the physicians to treat a targeted area with high doses while sparing adjacent tissue. This has been performed by the Radiation Oncology Department at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center since 1999.

The UHealth physicians have developed techniques to re-treat previously irradiated tissues effectively which result in minimal side effects. While these techniques are mostly used for recurrences and new primary cancers occurring in the head and neck area, they are also being used to re-treat lung tumors and selected tumors in the pelvis.

The Department of Radiation Oncology is also a pioneer in treating patients more than once daily to reduce total treatment time and increase tumor response (accelerated hyperfractionation). The technique, with or without chemotherapy, enhances the killing effect of radiation in locally advanced cancers. The physicians have extensive experience in using the technique for recurrent cancers that were initially treated with radiation therapy.