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About

About

If our cancer team has recommended radiation therapy as part of your cancer treatment, you can be assured that our entire staff will make you as comfortable as possible throughout your treatment. Everyone on our staff strives to treat you as they would their own family members. You are at the center of all we do, and we’re committed to delivering the highest possible care to you in your own community.

Our six board-certified radiation oncologists have more than 80 years of experience in treating cancer with multiple types of radiation therapy. In addition, our radiation specialists are involved in clinical research trials that may give you added options for care. They work closely with you, our medical oncologists and surgeons to create the best possible treatment plan for your cancer.

Why Radiation Therapy at Gibbs Cancer Center?

As a comprehensive center, we offer a full range of radiation therapy options and are equipped to tackle the most complex cases. Our therapies vary from conventional external beam radiation, which can treat a larger area, to sophisticated tools like the CyberKnife®, which delivers high-dose radiation with incredible precision from hundreds of angles. In every case, we follow the strictest national guidelines to achieve the safest and best result for you.

Radiation therapy alters the DNA in cancer cells so they cannot reproduce successfully. As our radiation oncology team delivers radiation beams to cancerous tumors with greater precision than ever, they also work to minimize damage to healthy tissue that surrounds the tumor.

Sophisticated 3D imaging equipment aids our doctors and technicians in locating and defining the exact size and shape of your tumor to deliver the radiation with the utmost accuracy.

Generally, radiation therapy is given to shrink the size of cancer before surgery, to treat a tumor directly during surgery or to kill remaining cancer cells following surgery. Areas commonly treated with radiation therapy include the brain, breast, chest, head, neck, pelvis, rectum and abdomen.

For prostate and some gynecologic cancers, our radiation oncologists are also skilled at delivering radiation with brachytherapy, a procedure in which radioactive “seeds” are implanted at the site of the tumor.

    Team Effort

    Team Effort

    At Gibbs, every patient’s case is reviewed by teams of healthcare professionals who specialize in each patient’s specific type of cancer – these meetings are called multidisciplinary conferences. Our participation in weekly multidisciplinary conferences strengthens our overall approach to cancer treatment. When radiation oncologists and other specialists come together to review your care plan, you benefit from their combined expertise and experience.

    Radiation oncology services are available at the Gibbs Cancer Center in Spartanburg and at Pelham Medical Center in Greer.

    Radiation Therapy Technologies at Gibbs

    We offer the most comprehensive radiation oncology services in the Upstate at Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute. These include:

    • Conventional external beam radiation therapy (EBRT)
    • Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
    • Image guided radiation therapy (IGRT)
    • RapidArc® treatments on Truebeam®
    • Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS)
    • Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT)
    • High dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy
    • CyberKnife® and TomoTherapy® for more complex treatments requiring great precision
    CyberKnife

    CyberKnife

    Pelham Medical Center in Greer is the first in the Upstate to offer new cancer-fighting technology.

    CyberKnife is not a knife at all. It is the world’s first and only robotic radiosurgery system designed to treat tumors throughout the body, non-invasively, in five treatments or less.

    The CyberKnife® M6™ at Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute at Pelham is a painless, non-invasive alternative to surgery for treatment of both cancerous and non-cancerous tumors. The CyberKnife system delivers powerful and highly targeted radiation to tumors, including those that are difficult to reach or inoperable, while minimizing damage to healthy surrounding tissue.

    What does it treat?

    CyberKnife is effective at treating numerous cancers including cancers of the head and spine, as well as tumors of the lung, pancreas, liver and kidney. It is also used for some benign conditions such as meningiomas, acoustic neuromas, pituitary adenomas and trigeminal neuralgia.

    Primary Benign Malignant Metastatic
    Meningioma Glioma Brain
    Acoustic Neuroma Head and Neck Spinal
    Pituitary Spinal Lesions Lung
    AVM Prostate Liver
    Trigeminal Neuralgia Lung  
      Pancreas  
      Kidney  
      Liver  

    You may also hear CyberKnife referred to as SBRT (stereotactic body radiation therapy), or SRS (stereotactic radiosurgery).

    Patient benefits

    There are many benefits to CyberKnife stereotactic radiation when compared to other types of radiation therapy:

    For more information about conditions that CyberKnife can treat, please consult with your doctor or call 1-855-DNA-GIBBS to schedule a consultation with one of our radiation oncologists.

    • Pain-free treatments
    • No incision
    • Minimal to no side effects
    • No anesthesia
    • Outpatient procedure
    • Short recovery time
    • Immediate return to normal activity
    • Minimal sessions required for treatment

    How does it work?

    Using “intelligent robotics,” CyberKnife delivers radiation through a “Linac” or linear accelerator mounted on a flexible robotic arm. The technology’s flexibility enables delivery of radiation to the targeted tumor or area with extremely high precision, while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue.

    With its sophisticated imaging software, CyberKnife tracks movement of the tumor and patient during treatment, making adjustments as you move or breathe. As a result, your treatment experience is more comfortable, with no need for rigid body-stabilizing frames, breath-holding or breathing techniques often used during other types of radiation therapy.

    Why is it unique?

    • Non-invasive: Treatment does not require an incision or an invasive head frame eliminating pain and inconvenience.
    • Advanced software: CyberKnife’s advanced imaging software tracks tumor and patient movement during treatment. No breath-holding or gated breathing.
    • Accurate: It enables clinicians to confidently treat tumors with minimal harm to surrounding healthy tissue.
    • Fast: All treatments are completed in one to five sessions. Each session usually lasts from 30 minutes to one hour.
    • Beneficial: CyberKnife provides a pain-free, non-invasive alternative, eliminating the possible complications and lengthy recovery times associated with traditional surgery.
    • A new treatment option: Patients undergo treatment without interruption of their daily routines or important events. You experience a better quality of life, both during and after treatment.

    Average Number of Treatments

      Standard Radiation CyberKnife M6
    Prostate 40-45 4-5
    Brain 10-30 1
    Lung Lesions 10-35 3-4
    Liver 10-30 3
    SpaceOAR

    SpaceOAR

    Prostate Cancer Innovation at Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute 

    Did you know that prostate cancer is second only to skin cancer as the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men? While radiation therapy is among the most effective and common forms of treatment for prostate cancer, it can sometimes cause undesirable side effects due to the prostate’s close proximity to other delicate tissues. 

    As part of our commitment to provide exceptional patient care, Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute was first in the Carolinas — and one of the first cancer centers in the United States — to introduce the SpaceOAR® System. SpaceOAR is the first FDA-approved method for placing a “spacer” to protect the rectum of men undergoing prostate cancer radiation treatment.

    Improving Outcomes for Prostate Cancer Patients

    The ultimate goal of any type of radiation therapy is to maximize radiation to the tumor while avoiding or minimizing radiation to the surrounding, healthy tissue. This can be especially challenging for prostate cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy because the prostate and rectum are located close together.

    Due to their close proximity, the rectum can be at risk for radiation exposure during prostate cancer radiation treatment. Side effects can include diarrhea, the inability to control bowel movements and rectal bleeding.

    Rectal radiation exposure can also limit a radiation oncologist’s ability to deliver high doses of radiation to the prostate. The SpaceOAR System substantially reduces that obstacle, allowing our doctors to deliver higher doses of radiation to more safely and effectively treat prostate cancer.

    What is SpaceOAR?

    SpaceOAR consists of a water-based gel that is injected into the space between the prostate and the rectum as a liquid. It quickly expands and solidifies into a soft gel, creating a spacer that painlessly and temporarily moves the prostate away from the rectum. This allows direct delivery of radiation to the prostate while reducing the radiation dose to the rectal area.

    The simple procedure is done in an operating room at the same time radiation markers are placed in the prostate. The gel spacer eventually liquefies and is eliminated from the body in the patient’s urine. Most patients report that they have little or no discomfort from the procedure, and cannot feel the spacer at all.

    SpaceOAR National Education & Resource Center

    As a SpaceOAR National Education & Resource Center, we lend our expertise on a national level to other physicians and cancer facilities. Dan Fried, MD, medical director and radiation oncologist at Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute-Pelham, was the first trained and certified physician in the Carolinas to use SpaceOAR. He is also one of the top 10 SpaceOAR providers in the United States.

    As a designated education site for SpaceOAR, physicians from across the U.S. visit Dr. Fried and his staff at Gibbs to gain knowledge about utilizing SpaceOAR for their prostate cancer patients.

    SpaceOAR & CyberKnife

    SpaceOAR & CyberKnife

    Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute is also the first cancer facility in the United States to combine SpaceOAR technology with the CyberKnife M6 Robotic Radiosurgery System for the treatment of low-risk and favorable intermediate-risk prostate cancer patients. For appropriate patients, CyberKnife can safely reduce prostate cancer radiation therapy from the standard of 45 treatments down to just five treatments.