Radiation Oncology Services

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Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) offers a full range of cancer treatments such as bone marrow transplants, cranial and extracranial radiosurgery, high-dose-rate and low-dose-rate brachytherapy, total body irradiation and total skin electron beam therapy. In conjunction with The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ), RWJUH also offers many patients access to exciting new treatments that are not available at most other hospitals.

A unique partnership between research scientists at RWJUH and independent community physicians, who treat patients with different conditions, provides opportunities to match the right individual with an appropriate protocol.

“Having a program that provides clinical trials makes it possible for us to make new treatments available, but also protects people from unnecessary or potentially harmful treatments,” explains Michael Nissenblatt, MD, associate director of medical oncology. “The relationship blends science with compassionate care; every patient treated for cancer at RWJUH benefits from the cooperation between scientists who have selected research as a career and physicians who have chosen to focus on patient care and disease management.”

Just as no two cancers are exactly alike, neither are the strategies for treating them. Physicians and nurses at RWJUH are not just specialists — they are subspecialists in their respective fields. As such, they know what treatments are most likely to produce the best results, depending on many variables.

“A patient who has, for instance, breast cancer or prostate cancer will see a team that spends 80 to 90 percent of its time focusing on that specific type of cancer,” explains Bruce Haffty, MD, chief of radiation oncology at RWJUH, chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and associate director of CINJ.

RWJUH offers a wide range of the most modern, effective radiation technologies such as external beam radiotherapy (IMRT, IGRT and 3D conformal), radiosurgery, brachytherapy (interstitial, intracavitory, HDR and LDR) and TomoTherapy.

In 2010, RWJUH plans to have one of the first single-vault (oneroom) proton beam systems in the United States. This more compact, less costly version of a conventional proton beam machine emits positively charged atomic particles that can be focused precisely on small cancerous growths, without harming the surrounding, healthy tissue.

“Unlike conventional x-ray-based technologies, proton beams don’t exit the body; they essentially enter the tumor and stop,” Dr. Haffty says. “Proton beams are especially useful in pediatric cases because you don’t want radiation to have a potentially harmful effect on the growing tissue surrounding a tumor. The technology can also be used to attack tumors that are deep-seated in the brain, or on the back of an eye, for example, where you want to treat a very specific area.”

Radiation Oncology at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) provides patients with a wide range of services that include external beam radiotherapy (IMRT, IGRT and 3D conformal), radiosurgery, brachytherapy (interstitial, intracavitory, HDR and LDR) and TomoTherapy. Proton Beam Radiation will be implemented in the near future.

Radiation Oncology

Our goal is to deliver high quality medical care and services to patients, to conduct clinical, translational and basic scientific research, and to provide educational opportunities to patients, health care workers, and the community.

Through our mission and goals we seek to improve treatment and outcomes of cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy.

3D Conformal Radiation Therapy - Sophisticated computer-assisted tomography (CT) scans and computer software tools are used to reconstruct patient anatomy in 3D and treat tumors throughout the body.

Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT) - Top-notch planning and delivery technology applies high dose conformal radiation to the targeted tumor, while carefully avoiding critical organs.

Gated Radiation Therapy - Computer assisted state-of-the-art technology to manage the intra-fraction motion (the target and organ motion during treatment). The technology may potentially reduce side effects and improve tumor control.

Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) - We provide state-of-the-art radiosurgery for brain, spine and other body sites using the Radionics XKnife system. This allows highly accurate “pinpointed” radiation treatment within the brain, spinal cord or other critical areas of the body. Radiosurgery can be delivered in one dose (stereotactic radiosurgey) or in several fractions (stereotactic radiotherapy).

Image Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT) - Some tumors may move slightly from day to day, or even during an individual treatment session. Image guided radiotherapy allows us to see the tumor throughout treatment, assuring that the radiation beam is treating tumor cells and avoiding normal tissue.

High Dose Rate (HDR) and Low Dose Rate (LDR) Brachytherapy - Brachytherapy involves the placement of radioactive “seeds” or sources directly into or around tumors, allowing for high tumor dose while sparing other normal tissues. Brachytherapy is performed in concert with Gynecologic, Urologic or General Surgery doctors, and treatment is prescribed and monitored closely by Radiation Oncologists and Physicists. HDR treatment allows high dose delivery to certain tumor types without the hospitalization associated with LDR treatments. Our Radiation Oncologists have been highly trained in brachytherapy techniques, assuring patients safe and effective treatment.

Click to learn more about gynecologic brachytherapy or prostate brachytherapy.

Total Body Irradiation (TBI) - Low doses of radiation given to the whole body as a preparatory regimen for bone marrow transplant in the treatment of hematologic cancers and other disorders.

TomoTherapy - Using 3D imaging, the Hi-Art Treatment System delivers intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) with a helical delivery pattern to provide precise, continuous radiation therapy from all angles around the patient. Click here to learn more about TomoTherapy.

Total Skin Electron Beam Therapy (TSEBT) - The only hospital in New Jersey offering this highly specialized form of treatment for cuteaneous T-cell lymphoma, a linear accelerator uses electrons to treat the entire skin surface.  Click here to learn more about Total Skin Electron Beam Therapy. 

Meet our Radiation Oncology Specialists

Our Radiation Oncologists not only have extensive training in cancer medicine and the safe use of radiation to treat disease, they are sub-specialized in specific types of cancers.

Bruce Haffty, MD
Professor and Chairman
Chief, Radiation Oncology
Areas of Expertise:  Breast, Head and Neck Cancer

Alan Cohler, MD
Instructor
Areas of Expertise:  Lymphoma, Skin and CNS

Molly Gabel, MD
Associate Professor
Chief, Division of Clinical Radiation Oncology
Areas of Expertise:  Gynecological and Breast Cancer

Salma Jabbour, MD
Assistant Professor
Areas of Expertise:  Gastrointestinal and Lung Cancer

Atif J. Khan, MD
Assistant Professor
Areas of Expertise:  Brachytherapy, Breast Cancer, Pediatric Cancer, CNS, Sarcoma

Sung Kim, MD
Assistant Professor
Areas of Expertise:  Genitourinary, Head and Neck Cancer

Insurance Plans Accepted

The following health care plans are accepted at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital:

  • Aetna Health Plan
  • Americhoice
  • Amerihealth
  • Cigna
  • Consumer Health Network
  • Coventry
  • Empire Blue Cross
  • First Health
  • Focus
  • Health Care Payer Coalition
  • Health Net
  • Horizon Blue Cross
  • Horizon New Jersey Health
  • Magnacare
  • Mastercare
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • Medichoice
  • Multiplan
  • National Provider Network
  • New Jersey Manufacturers
  • One Health Plan
  • Oxford
  • Private Healthcare Systems
  • Qualcare
  • Three Rivers Provider Network
  • United Healthcare
  • University Health Plan

Please note that the plans above are accepted by Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. However, your physician may not necessarily accept these plans.

Please contact your physician directly to see if he/she accepts your specific plan.

 

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