Radiation Therapy

Radiation TherapyThrough a partnership with UNC Rex Healthcare, Johnston Health is able to bring cutting-edge radiation therapy to patients at UNC Radiation Oncology Clayton & Smithfield.

Radiation therapy kills cancer cells and shrinks tumors through high-energy radiation. Cancer cells are killed when the radiation destroys their DNA, which prevents them from dividing and spreading.  Radiation therapy can be used on its own as a cancer treatment, or in combination with surgery and/or chemotherapy.

We use the latest technologies and treatments to provide a broad scope of services and the highest quality of care to patients. Both clinics offer:

IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Treatment)

This uses computer-controlled X-ray accelerators to deliver precise radiation doses to a malignant tumor or specific areas within the tumor. Not all tissue reacts to radiation the same way. Therefore, IMRT can vary in radiation intensity emitted across a field. The radiation beam can also rotate around the patient, sending beams from a more favorable angle and location. By cross-firing the tumor with these beams of varying intensity from all possible angles, a uniform dose of radiation is delivered to the tumor while minimizing the effects on surrounding sensitive structures.

IGRT (Image Guided Radiation Treatment)

Sometimes tumors can move due to differences in organ filling or movements while breathing. Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) is a form of radiation that is guided by imaging equipment such as CT, ultrasound or stereoscopic X-rays.  Images are taken just before the patient is given the radiation treatment and then compared with images taken when the patient begins their treatment. The digital information is then transmitted to a console in the treatment room to allow doctors to compare the earlier image with the images taken just before treatment. During IGRT, images are “fused” to see if the treatment needs to be changed.  The high precision of IGRT allows for a reduction in the volume of healthy tissue that is affected, leading to fewer side effects and the potential to treat the tumor with more effective, higher doses of radiation.