Duke Cancer Institute radiation oncology specialists use state of-the-art methods such as positron emission tomography (PET)-based treatment planning, respiratory gating techniques, and intensity-modulated radiation therapy to deliver a radiation plan tailored to each patient.
Radiation therapy (high-energy rays) is used to kill cancer cells, either by applying radiation externally with a machine, or by implanting seeds or wafers inside the body that emit radiation waves continually.
Our radiation oncologists focus specifically on gastrointestinal cancers, including esophageal cancer, providing a unique perspective not found in most community hospitals.
Many patients receive radiation pre-operatively to shrink their tumor, increasing the chances of it being completely removed during surgery. In certain cases, if the size and location of the tumor make surgery difficult, patients may receive radiation or radiation and chemotherapy as their primary treatment.
Radiation therapy is also used to manage pain and alleviate other complications resulting from advanced esophageal cancer, such as difficulty swallowing.
Duke was the first medical center in North Carolina to use photodynamic therapy, or PDT, in the treatment of Barrett’s esophagus. Learn more about endoscopic procedures to manage esophageal cancer and Barrett’s esophagus.
The Duke Cancer Institute uses image-guided radiation therapy with the use of PET, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed tomography (CT) to better target radiation of tumor with avoidance of normal tissue. Duke investigators are national leaders in a quest to better predict and monitor the response of both tumors and normal tissue to radiation.
A number of novel approaches are available through the Duke Cancer Institute’s robust clinical trials program.
Learn how to make an appointment at the Duke Cancer Institute.