Radiation therapy is an indispensable tool in modern medicine and physics is an indispensable tool in its application. Several different types of treatments are available including high energy x-rays, electron beams, proton therapy, and brachytherapy. Experts in the field must consider a variety of factors in determining the highest treatment dose to tumor volume while minimizing exposure to healthy cells and tissues. To provide optimum results, medical imaging is used to assist doctors and radiologists in determining patient prescriptions. Delivery of treatment varies depending on tumor size, depth, and proximity to critical structures; so radiologists must carefully calculate dosage and angles to allow for margins, artifacts, and patient movement. In this video series, students hear from different doctors and radiologists as they discuss how they work together to evaluate the best course of treatment. Homework and lab activities focus on the following topics:
In the YouTube video series above, Radiation Therapy is discussed from the perspective of doctors, professors, and radiologists. Dr. Thomas details how Radiation Therapy is used alone or with surgery and chemotherapy to target cancer cells and he also discusses the importance of accuracy throughout the entire process. Dr. Wolfram Laub provides concise details about the different forms of electromagnetic radiation and treatments used; as well as, how to adjust energy levels to provide the ideal dosage and control how deep into the patient’s tissue it will be deposited. He discusses how the effects of radiation are not always immediately apparent and how long term effects to genomic stability should be considered. Barb Agrimson, Dosimetrist, talks about all of the different considerations when calculating a patient’s prescription to achieve the highest treatment dose to tumor volume while at the same time minimizing exposure to healthy cells and tissues. Intraoperative radiation therapy and future technologies are discussed. Each of our experts provides advice on which steps to take if interested in a career in this field.