The Radiation Oncology department of Koç University Hospital serves patients in collaboration with MD Anderson Radiation Oncology Center, one of the most notable cancer centers in the world. Thanks to this collaboration, innovative cutting-edge treatment methods and practices of the Texas University MD Anderson Cancer Center, which constitute a reference for the rest of the world in the field of radiation oncology, are made available to patients visiting us in Turkey. All treatments and practices at our department are planned under supervision of radiation oncologists who have been trained at MD Anderson Cancer Center and are actively conducting their studies at Texas University. All team members, from physics engineers to radiotherapy technicians and nurses, are also trained in their respective fields of activity over at MD Anderson Cancer Center, and operate in collaboration with the center. Radiotherapy protocols and practices that have been proven to be effective against cancer and other diseases are selected and carried out at the Radiation Oncology department of Koç University Hospital in line with the standards and guidelines of MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Equipped with the latest technological equipment and a high level of experience, our radiation oncology department draws a roadmap for every type of cancer. Treatment plans are tailored specifically for each patient, who are presented with special treatment options accordingly.
Practices of Radiation Oncology
Coupled with a planning method, this process is quite significant in terms of representing the latest achievements in adjustment of dosage distribution. It is essentially practiced for the purpose of mitigating exposure of healthy peripheral tissue to radiation to the minimum level possible. Instead of firing a single large beam of radiation on the body, IMRT divides the radiation into thousands of thin photons, which enter the body from various angles and intersect on the cancerous area at millimetric precision. This enables delivery of a high-dose of radiation to the target zone, while allowing only a low dose to reach peripheral healthy tissue. As IMRT requires absolute precision, the planning period also takes a long time.
Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and volumetric arc therapy (VMAT)
This procedure is performed particularly on small-sized lesions and involves a one-time or fractional delivery of high radiotherapy doses varying between 3 Gy to 24 Gy (Gy: Gray, dosage unit). Thanks to data collected through advanced imaging techniques, a maximum dose is delivered to the target tumor and a minimum to peripheral tissues. For this purpose, bundles of beams are fired to the targeted center at various angles. The procedure is described as ‘stereotactic radiotherapy’, if it takes place in more than one session. If it is otherwise completed in a single session, it is described as ‘stereotactic radiosurgery’.
Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS)
Radiosurgery performed on an organ other than the brain is defined as ‘stereotactic body radiotherapy’. Basically, this procedure concentrates and delivers quite high doses to a target lesion.
Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT)
The Big Bore Onco CT device installed at our center is a 4D computerized tomography (CT) device capable of obtaining 16-slice helical images. The tumor LOC function enables radiation oncologists to rapidly determine location of tumors, which are then laser-marked on the patient in accordance with coordinate data. Adapted to respiratory changes, our CT device is able to visualized tumors that can move while breathing in or out, particularly those located in the lungs or upper abdomen.
4D computerized tomography simulation
This mode of radiotherapy includes treatment planning after determination of target volume with the help of 4D tomography (4DCT). Radiotherapy can be performed while a patient is breathing in or out thanks to the respiration-adjusted and 4D images that are used in the planning phase. The integrated tumor volume can be treated during all phases of respiration in case of small and low-mobility tumors.
4D radiotherapy (4DRT)
Placement of radioactive sources in proximity of or directly in the diseased target area is described as brachytherapy or internal radiotherapy. Temporary resources are removed from the body after being kept inside for a specific period of time and gradually lose their active effect. Known as a standard method of radiotherapy around the world, brachytherapy is occasionally used as a curative therapy on its own, and sometimes it is used alongside radiotherapy to improve therapeutical effect. The brachytherapy device installed at our hospital is among the most preferred brachytherapy devices globally.
Daily, weekly, monthly and annual quality assurance programs of MD Anderson Cancer Center are practiced at our department. For quality control and dose measurement of treatment devices, we utilize advanced dosimetry equipment, all determined and some specifically designed by MD Anderson Cancer Center. All quality control programs are supervised and reviewed online by MD Anderson Cancer Center as well.