Radiation Oncology

Radiation is the art of using therapeutic x-ray and high-energy particles to eradicate tumors and control certain growths. Our radiation treatment is on the cutting edge; utilizing innovations in science and technology to treat your unique cancer.

We treat all cancer sites in adults including skin cancer. We also treat some non-cancerous conditions such as keloids, bone/joints before or after orthopedic surgery, non-cancerous brain tumors, non-cancerous skin conditions.

Epic Care is accredited in Radiation Oncology and Diagnostic Radiology by the American College of Radiology (ACR). Our peers and regulatory organizations have recognized our commitment to cutting edge, patient-centric care with this certification.

At Epic Care, we offer:

Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)

We use image guided radiation therapy (IGRT), one of the most cutting-edge innovations in cancer technology available.
Tumors can move, because of breathing and other movement in the body. IGRT allows our doctors to locate and track the tumor at the time of treatment. With this technology, we can deliver precise radiation treatment to tumors that shift as a result of breathing and movement of the bladder and bowels.This also allows our radiation oncologists to make technical adjustments when a tumor moves outside of the planned treatment range. As a result, the radiation treatment is targeted to the tumor as much as possible, helping to limit radiation exposure to healthy tissue and reduce common radiation side effects.

Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT)

IMRT uses advanced software to plan a precise dose of radiation, based on tumor size, shape and location. A computer-controlled device called a linear accelerator delivers radiation in sculpted doses that match the exact 3D geometrical shape of the tumor, including concave and complex shapes.

With IMRT, our radiation oncologist can adjust the intensity of radiation beams across the treatment area as needed with laser accuracy. This means we can deliver higher radiation doses than traditional radiation therapy methods, while minimizing exposure to healthy tissues.

Because of its greater degree of accuracy, IMRT may be a treatment option for patients who have reached the maximum allowable dose of conventional radiation therapy and have a recurrent tumor in the treated area.

Volumetric-Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT)

VMAT is a cutting edge advancement which allows our radiation oncologists to deliver Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) in a much more efficient way. Rather than using several different beams to treat your tumor, VMAT can perform the entire treatment in one or two arcs. This can improve treatment speed by as much as three-fold which will reduce the time that you spend each day in treatment.

3-Dimensional / 4-Dimensional / Metabolically-Guided Planning

Metabolically guided radiation therapy incorporates information from Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging (a metabolic method of tumor imaging) into the standard radiation treatment plan. It fuses CT and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) data to help identify tumor targets – particularly for lung, esophageal and hematological malignancies – with greater precision. In essence, this technology allows our radiation oncologists to precisely target fast-growing tumors (high metabolism) while sparing surrounding normal tissue.

Adaptive Radiotherapy (ART)

During treatment, patients can lose weight or experience swelling. These changes in your body can sometimes make high-precision treatment less accurate. To prevent this, our practice utilized adaptive radiation therapy to monitor these changes and intelligently modify your treatment plan so that it remains precise and accurate.

Stereotactic Radiosurgery / Radiotherapy (SRS/SRT)

Stereotactic radiosurgery uses high-energy x-ray beams to deliver large doses to small tumors over a short period of time (one to five treatments). This procedure is highly accurate and is planned in conjunction with our community surgeons. To ensure the ultimate in treatment accuracy we use a stereotactic system, which localizes the target in three-dimensional space using a personalized grid. SRS/SRT can be used to treat localized tumors in virtually any part of the body. At Epic Care we offer brain, lung, bone, liver SRS/SRT.

Prostate Seed Implantation (Brachytherapy)

Prostate brachytherapy involves placing devices containing radiation in the prostate gland close to the cancer cells. Procedures vary based on the type of radiation you will receive.

Temporary prostate brachytherapy involves placing radioactive wires in the prostate gland for several minutes before the wires are removed. Permanent prostate brachytherapy involves placing radioactive seeds in the prostate gland permanently, where they slowly release radiation.

The goal of prostate brachytherapy is to place the radiation close to the cancer cells, where the radiation can kill the cancer cells while causing less damage to healthy tissue nearby.

High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy

These radioactive sources emit internal radiation at a fast rate, so they can deliver a higher dose in a shorter amount of time. Thus the sources generally never stay in the body permanently. Instead, they dwell in a tumor temporarily, usually less than 10 minutes at a time. Patients will need repeated sessions, ranging from 3 to 10, depending on the type of cancer. The HDR source is housed in a little robot called a remote afterloader. During each treatment session, the source is precisely placed into the target area by this computer-controlled robot.The use of HDR sources is the most proven and reliable brachytherapy treatment for breast (accelerated partial breast irradiation), skin, gynecological, and certain prostate malignancies. It can also be used for many other cancers, including head and neck, esophagus, sarcoma, and lung. Epic Care is the first center in Contra Costa County to offer HDR brachytherapy. Our board-certified specialists are trained at one of the most renowned brachytherapy centers in the United States.

Active Breathing Coordinator (ABC)

When Active Breathing Coordinator is used during radiation therapy, the patient takes a deep breath before the beam of radiation is delivered. This deep breath increases the distance between the area receiving radiation (the breast tissue or chest wall on the patient’s left side) and the heart. Increasing this distance means there is less risk the heart will receive any incidental radiation during treatment and, therefore, there is less risk of the patient developing radiation-induced heart disease.