Radiation Oncology

Radiation oncology at the L+M Cancer Center is provided in partnership with Yale School of Medicine.

Radiation oncology is localized therapy used in the treatment of many types of cancer; treatments use high-energy radiation to destroy rapidly dividing cancer cells. Patients at the L+M Cancer Center are offered a full range of radiation services, including external beam radiation therapy, from within the comfort of their local, Southeastern Connecticut community.

At the Cancer Center, radiation oncologists from Yale School of Medicine work in conjunction with medical oncologists and/or surgeons to develop the best, comprehensive cancer treatment plan for each patient. In addition to our staff of highly skilled radiation therapists, nurses, medical physicists, and dosimetrists, an attending physician is on site at all times. Radiation oncology staff are always available to answer any questions that patients, or their families, may have regarding treatment.

Image Guided Radiation Therapy

Using IGRT, the radiation oncology team at the L+M Cancer Center has the ability to perform CT scans or high quality x-rays directly on the treatment table, in order to identify how organs or patient positions may move from day to day.

Even the most minor positional changes, caused by things such as intestinal gas, bladder filling, or everyday minor positional changes can be identified through IGRT. By pinpointing the exact location of the tumor or affected organ, the radiation plan can be precisely targeted, resulting in more accurate treatment with lower radiation doses to the normal surrounding tissues.

Prostate Cancer Treatment - Calypso 4D Localization System

The Calypso 4D System is an advanced radiofrequency based tracking system that tracks the motion of the prostate in real time. Based on three small implanted transponders, each the size of a grain of rice, doctors and radiation therapists are able to continuously detect even the most minute shifts in the position and rotation of a prostate. This precise localization of the prostate allows the design of radiation treatments that spare more normal tissue while delivering more cancer-killing radiation than would otherwise be possible.

Lawrence + Memorial was the first facility in Connecticut to utilize the state-of-the-art Calypso 4D System for the treatment of prostate cancer, which localizes and tracks the movement of the prostate, allowing for high accuracy and reproducibility of external beam radiation therapy.

Hypofractionated Whole Breast Radiation Treatment

L+M Cancer Center offers the latest way to treat breast cancer for its patients: hypofractionated breast radiation.

This treatment involves 3-4 weeks of radiation rather than the traditional 5-6 weeks of radiation. This treatment is proven to be just as effective - with less side effects - than the standard six weeks of radiation.

L+M's prone breast board makes hypofractionated treatment possible for more women. This method of treatment has been targeted by the American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's (ASTRO) Choosing Wisely Campaign as an intervention that all physicians should consider strongly. This treatment has been proven in women after lumpectomy, when lymph nodes areas do not need to be targeted.

Prone Breast Radiation Therapy

The L+M Cancer Center offers prone breast radiation. This technique uses a special cushioned board to have women lie down on their stomach during radiation treatment to the breast. This lets the breast hang forward and elongate, which allows doctors to exclude more lung (and often less heart for left sided breast cancers) than when women lie on their back. It can also result in a more even dose of radiation throughout the breast, which may help skin irritations lessen. Not all women are suited to prone breast radiation, and patients should talk to their doctor about this technique.

Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT)

SBRT is a technique used to deliver very high doses of radiation to small areas. At the L+ M Cancer Center, this technique is predominantly used to treat early stage, small lung cancers without involvement of lymph nodes. Results for this technique are excellent. Patients are given 3-5 treatments, and treatment time takes less than an 30 minutes. This technique is used in patients who are not surgical candidates.