External beam radiation therapy is the use of targeted ionizing radiation, such as X-ray or electron beams, from outside of the body to kill cancer cells while avoiding damage to nearby healthy cells as much as possible. The rays trigger a number of biological processes in cancer cells, which destroy or damage the cells, preventing them from dividing and multiplying in the body.
Your treatment plan - a multidisciplinary decision
In most cases, your treatment plan will be decided by a multidisciplinary team made up of several specialists, including:
Radiation therapy can be used alone or in combination with surgery, hormone therapy and/or chemotherapy prescribed by an oncologist. We work together to carefully assess your case and provide you with the most appropriate treatment.
Your treatment pathway
Consultation appointment with your radiation therapist
In your initial consultation, we will discuss and define your treatment plan with you. We will provide you with all the information you need about your treatment and answer any questions or concerns you may have. We will meet with you regularly to review how well you are coping with the physical and mental effects of your radiation therapy treatment. Consultations will usually be with a nurse for any treatment requirements. He or she will be assigned to your case and act as a point of contact during your time with us.
A CT (computerized tomography), MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or PET-CT (positron emission tomography-computerized tomography) scan will be used to help you achieve a comfortable position during radiation therapy. You will be asked to adopt the same position every time you have your treatment. The images are used to define the tumor volume and avoid the surrounding healthy tissue as much as possible.
This stage determines the correct parameters of the radiation therapy machine in order to maximize the prescribed dose of radiation to the tumor while minimizing the dose to surrounding healthy tissue. Once the optimal configuration has been found, the calculations are then approved by your medical physicist and radiation therapist.
We deliver personalized radiation therapy and the number of treatment sessions is different for every patient. You are most likely to have your radiation therapy treatment as an outpatient. At each treatment session, you will be looked after by a skilled team of therapy radiographers who will operate the radiation therapy machine to reproduce the parameters defined during the simulation and planning stages.
Innovative technology - Varian EDGE™
To make sure you benefit from the latest developments in cancer treatment and follow-up, Hôpital de La Tour is equipped with the Varian EDGE system, a state-of-the-art linear accelerator machine.
The Varian EDGE system has a wide range of innovative features, including:
- new high-definition radiation therapy technology
- ability to deliver high doses of radiation with extreme precision (learn more about stereotactic radiosurgery here)
- real-time optical surface monitoring to detect even the slightest movement, enabling treatment to be stopped
- ability to synchronize radiation delivery with the pattern of your breathing
Watch this video to find out more from our radiation therapy specialists.
Why choose Hôpital de La Tour?
Multidisciplinary and comprehensive care
We work closely with other medical professionals specializing in cancer care. In order to offer you comprehensive care, we work as a team with all our on-site specialists at Hôpital de La Tour and take care of every health care need, from specific aspects of the disease to your general health, including:
We are proud to offer cutting-edge facilities and technology to make sure you receive the highest standard of care, for example:
- in radiation therapy, with the innovative Varian EDGE
- in nuclear medicine, with the latest generation of PET-CT scanners for diagnosis and follow-up
Innovative MRI simulation
For several types of cancer, including pelvic, brain, and head and neck cancer, MRI scans offer superior soft-tissue contrast compared to CT scans and can better evaluate how much the disease has spread. Hôpital de La Tour uses innovative MR-RT (magnetic resonance radiation therapy) technology from Philips to simulate radiation therapy directly on the Ingenia MRI system. This means that our radiation therapists have access to high-quality images to define the tumor using the same geometric accuracy as the radiation carried out by the linear accelerator machine. As a result, the MRI sequences meet specific radiation therapy needs and any uncertainties linked to patient positioning are reduced during the treatment planning stage.
In specific cases of pelvic cancer, such as prostate, rectal and anal cancer, the treatment pathway is simplified because MRI scans can now replace CT scans to calculate treatment planning (innovative MR-only simulation technology).
Compassionate and personal care
You will be looked after by a knowledgeable and caring team of skilled doctors, technicians and nurses. You will regularly meet with your care team and establish a special relationship built on trust. Our staff are here to help you.
Centre OTIUM offers care, support and counselling for patients and loved ones affected by cancer. It also offers a cancer rehabilitation program, approved by the Ligue suisse contre le cancer (Swiss cancer league), to improve the quality of life of people affected by the disease and help and support them in their return to daily life.
The center offers a warm and caring environment where therapies, group sessions and workshops are all under one roof.
Please visit the Centre OTIUM website for further information