Radiation Oncology

Northeast Georgia Medical Center offers cancer patients the latest technology and most advanced radiation therapy treatment options – in several convenient locations:  Gainesville, Braselton and Toccoa. 

In addition to a group of expert physician specialists, NGMC also provides detailed, comprehensive care and follow-up involving:

  • Oncology certified nurses
  • Registered radiation therapists
  • Board certified physicists
  • Board certified medical dosimetrists
  • Oncology patient navigators
  • Case managers
  • Registered dieticians

Pre-Treatment Services

CT Simulation

A CT scan of the area of your body to be treated with radiation. The CT images acquired during your scan will be reconstructed and used to design the best and most precise treatment plan for you. Simulation is a critical preparation step before radiation treatment. During the simulation, the treatment setup will be simulated by positioning the patient on the flat couch immobilized by specially designed devices.

4D Gating CT Simulation

A gating CT allows for the analysis of motion from breathing. It provides information on the true shape of the anatomical objects in motion, decreases distortion, and identifies the range of motion to help make radiotherapy planning assessment more precise.

In addition to the radiation therapy treatments above, NGMC also offers medical and surgical oncology, patient navigation services and access to national clinical trials. Click here for a list of current clinical trials offered at NGMC.

Treatment Options

In addition to conventional 3D conformal therapy and electron beam therapy, we offer state-of-the-art treatment methods, including:

3D Conformal Radiation Therapy (3D CRT)
  • Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D CRT) is a common radiation therapy used to treat cancers in many parts of the body.
  • 3D CRT utilizes radiation beams that are shaped to enter the patient from multiple angles in such a way that it spares as much healthy tissues as possible.
Deep Inspiration Breath-Hold 
  • Used alongside radiation therapy to limit radiation exposure to the heart and lungs
  • Treatment is delivered during short periods in which the patient holds his or her breath
  • Particularly useful in treatment of breast, thoracic or abdominal tumors
High-Dose Rate Brachytherapy (HDR)
  • Involves temporarily inserting the source of radiation directly at or very near a tumor site
  • Limits amount of healthy tissue exposed to radiation and radiates the site of the cancer
Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
  • Enables physicians to pinpoint tumors with great accuracy
  • Provides ability to adjust the radiation beam to the tumor’s exact location
  • Spares healthy tissue
  • Applicable for some prostate, abdominal, lung, head and neck and brain tumors.
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
  • An intense, controlled dose of radiation that allows treatment in sensitive areas
  • Delivers high doses of radiation in a very precise way
  • Spares more of the surrounding healthy tissue
  • Fewer side effects as compared to traditional external radiation therapy
Low-Dose Rate Brachytherapy (LDR)
  • Requires the radiation source to be permanently inserted into the patient
  • Delivers radiation slowly, over a few days, and is often performed as an outpatient procedure
  • Prostate seed implants are a common example of LDR; prostate seed implants are radioactive implants that treat prostate cancer with fewer side effects such as urinary incontinence and impotence.
  • Hydrogel spacers are used to protect the rectum for treatment.
Optune Therapy for Glioblastoma
  • Creates low-intensity electric fields, called Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields), which help slow or stop glioblastoma cancer cells from dividing (and may also cause some of them to die)
  • Uses 4 adhesive patches, called transducer arrays, to deliver therapy 
  • These transducer arrays are applied to the scalp and are connected to the device and battery
  • Transducer arrays are strategically placed based on each patient’s MRI to maximize the effect of treatment on the tumor
Prostate Fiducial Marker Placement
  • Uses imaging guidance to place small metal objects called fiducial markers in or near a tumor in preparation for radiation therapy 
  • The markers help pinpoint the tumor’s location with greater accuracy, allowing for the maximum radiation dose to the tumor while sparing healthy tissue
Respiratory Gated Therapy
  • Continuously monitors the movement of tumors during a patient’s normal breathing cycles
  • Ensures radiation is delivered only when the tumor is in exactly the right place 
  • Allows for treating smaller volumes to high doses, while also minimizing unnecessary exposure to normal, surrounding tissues
Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) & Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT)
  • Delivers a focused high dose of radiation to the tumor, allowing for fewer treatments than traditional radiation therapy
  • Targets small, well-defined tumors with extreme precision
  • Can be used as an alternative to surgery in some cases
  • Applicable for patients whose tumors are hard to reach, located close to vital organs or other critical areas, or subject to movement (for example, breathing)
  • Uses three-dimensional imaging, including MRI and vascular CT scans, during the treatment to locate and pinpoint the tumor for precise delivery of radiation
Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT)
  • VMAT is a form of IMRT where the dose of radiation is applied to the tumor by continuous 360º rotation of the treatment unit.
  • The dose distribution is precise with the shaping and adaptation of the dose to the form of the tumor.