Department of Radiation Oncology 195 Little Albany Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
About the department
The Department of Radiation Oncology at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey is committed to providing patients the information and support services they need to achieve the best possible treatment outcome. The department combines the latest in technology with personalized and supportive care throughout and after treatment.
The divisions of clinical radiation oncology and radiation physics have completed significant upgrades of equipment in our clinical facilities, which currently allow for image-guided radiation therapy, tomotherapy, and high dose rate brachytherapy. In addition to the advanced therapeutic care offered in our updated clinical facilities at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, the division of radiation cancer biology conducts basic science research with the goal of translating research findings into improved radiation treatment of cancer. Our rapidly expanding facilities are complemented by New Jersey's only residency training program in radiation oncology.
Outstanding radiation treatment requires a team approach. Each patient is cared for by a team consisting of physician, advanced practice and registered nurses, certified radiation therapist, physicists and dosimetrists. Working together, we customize each patient's treatment plan and assure patient safety and comfort. From the first time patients enter the department, they are provided with customized treatment information, both verbally and in writing. As they progress through treatment, more detailed information on skin care, diet and nutrition, and dealing with potential side effects is reinforced weekly during nursing visits. The radiation oncologist, along with the nursing and residency staff see patients throughout their course of radiation therapy. Support services are geared toward the individual needs of the patient.
Located in The Cancer Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, the Department of Radiation Oncology offers 3D Conformal External Beam Radiotherapy, extracranial radiosurgery, gynecologic brachytherapy, Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT), prostate brachytherapy, stereotactic radiosurgery, stereotactic radiotherapy, Total Body Irradiation (TBI), image-guided radiation therapy, high dose rate brachytherapy, and tomotherapy.
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Physicians & Professionals
Brachytherapy, also called internal radiation or seed implants, is the placement of radioactive sources in or just next to a tumor. The radioactive sources may be left in place permanently or only temporarily, depending upon your cancer. To position the sources accurately, special catheters or applicators are used. Because the radiation sources are placed so close to the tumor, your doctors can deliver a large dose of radiation directly to the cancer cells with minimal exposure to normal tissue.
The radioactive sources used in brachytherapy, such as thin wires, ribbons, capsules or seeds, come in small, sealed containers. Some sources are placed permanently and are referred to as implants. These radioactive sources remain in the body after their radiation has been expended and the source is no longer radioactive. Other sources are placed temporarily inside the body, and the radioactive sources are removed after the prescribed dose of radiation has been delivered. Read more...
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in American women, according to the American Cancer Society.
* Each year, nearly 216,000 women and 1,500 men learn they have breast cancer
* An additional 59,000 women learn they have in situ or noninvasive breast cancer.
* Nearly 40,000 women will die from breast cancer each year.
Risk Factors for Breast Cancer Read more...
The brain is the center of thought, memory, emotion, speech, sensation and motor function. The spinal cord and special nerves in the head called cranial nerves carry and receive messages between the brain and the rest of the body.
There are two types of brain tumors:
- Primary -- i.e., a tumor that starts in the brain. Primary brain tumors can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant. Primary tumors in the brain or spinal cord rarely spread to distant organs.
- Metastatic -- a tumor caused by cancer elsewhere in the body that spreads to the brain. Metastatic brain tumors are always cancerous.
Brain tumors cause damage because as they grow they can interfere with surrounding cells that serve vital roles in our everyday life.
General Risk Factors for Brain Tumors Read more...
Colorectal cancer includes malignant or cancerous tumors of the colon and/or the rectum. The colon extends from the end of the small intestine to the rectum. It consists of ascending, transverse and descending segments. The sigmoid colon is roughly S-shaped and is the lower portion of the descending colon, leading into the rectum. The rectum is part of the digestive system. It makes up the final five inches of the colon. Colorectal cancer can affect any of these areas.
This year, about 147,000 Americans will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer. The disease affects men and women equally.
General Risk Factors for Colorectal Cancer
The majority of colorectal tumors are found in patients over age 50. However, the disease can happen at any age, so it is important to know your family history and the following risk factors.
- Diet high in fat and red meat and low in fruits and vegetables.
- Personal history of colon cancer.
- History of polyps in the colon, ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.
Prostate cancer is the most common malignancy in American men. In 2003, more than 220,000 men were diagnosed as having prostate cancer, making it the number one type of cancer in men. Nearly 29,000 men died from prostate cancer in 2003. More than 75 percent of prostate cancer is diagnosed in men over age 65.
Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer
- Incidence of prostate cancer increases with age.
- The median age at diagnosis in Caucasian males is 71.
- African-American men have the highest incidence of prostate cancer in the world.
- Heredity accounts for 5 percent to 10 percent of cases.
Screening for Prostate Cancer Read more...
Gynecologic cancers include cancer of the uterus, ovaries, cervix, vagina, vulva and Fallopian tubes. According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 83,000 women per year are diagnosed with some form of gynecologic, or GYN, cancer. The most common gynecologic cancer is uterine cancer, with more than 40,000 cases diagnosed each year. Every year, more than 28,000 women die from a type of gynecologic cancer.
Widespread screening with the Pap test has allowed doctors to find pre-cancerous changes in the cervix and vagina. This testing has helped prevent the development of some invasive cancers.
Risk Factors for Gynecologic Cancers
While all women are at risk for gynecologic cancer, some factors can increase a woman's chances of developing the disease. Read more...
The lymphatic system is a network of thin tubular vessels that branches out to almost all parts of the body. Scattered in between these vessels are lymph nodes. The job of the lymphatic system is to fight infection and disease. Cancer of the lymphatic system is called lymphoma. Hodgkins is one of two main types of lymphoma with non-Hodgkins being the other.
Hodgkins lymphoma (Hodgkins disease) commonly affects lymph nodes in the neck or in the area between the lungs behind the breastbone. It can also begin in groups of lymph nodes under the arms, in the abdomen or in the groin. It's named after the British doctor Thomas Hodgkin, who first described the disease in 1832.
According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 64,000 new cases of lymphoma will be diagnosed this year. This number includes 7,350 cases of Hodgkins lymphoma.
Hodgkins lymphoma is very treatable and often curable. Eighty-five percent of patients with Hodgkins live longer than five years after diagnosis.
Non-Hodgkins lymphoma (or NHL) refers to a variety of cancers involving the lymph system. Non-Hodgkins lymphoma can begin in any part of the body, not just the lymph nodes. Survival rates vary widely by cell type and stage of disease. More than 75 percent of patients with NHL live longer than a year after diagnosis; nearly 60 percent of patients live longer than five years.
Risk Factors for Hodgkins and Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma Read more...
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the state's only comprehensive cancer center, take a multidisciplinary approach to treating pediatric cancer. We provide comprehensive care for pediatric brain and spine tumors (glioma, medulloblastoma, ependymoma, PNET, pineal/germ cell tumors, craniopharyngioma), rhabdomyosarcoma, Wilms’ tumor, neuroblastoma, Ewing sarcoma, rhabdoid tumor, childhood leukemias (ALL and AML), Hodgkin’s lymphoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and others.
We are proud to offer our patients proton therapy. Proton therapy is an advanced type of radiation treatment that uses a beam of protons to deliver radiation directly to the tumor, destroying cancer cells while sparing healthy tissues. Protons enter the body with a low radiation dose, stop at the tumor, match its shape and volume or depth, and deposit the bulk of their cancer-fighting energy right at the tumor.
The ability to precisely target tumors makes proton therapy ideal for treating childhood cancer. It provides accurate treatment of tumors near or within sensitive organs while limiting radiation exposure to healthy tissues, which is vital in children whose bodies are still growing and developing. This ability may reduce side effects during treatment, often allowing children to better tolerate proton therapy. Tumors in children that can benefit most from proton therapy are tumors of the brain, head, neck, spinal cord, heart or lungs.
The Laurie Proton Therapy Center at Robert Wood Johnson--in partnership with the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey--is excited to offer the precision of proton therapy, an advanced modality of radiation therapy. Proton therapy is a type of radiation therapy that can target tumor tissues more precisely in certain situations. In contrast to conventional x-ray (or photon) therapy, proton beams have the unique property of stopping at a certain depth in tissue. This property can be put to use and controlled for the treatment of cancer patients. Proton therapy is the latest addition to the wide array of comprehensive radiotherapy services that are available to patients at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.Click here for more information about the proton therapy center.
Stereotactic radiosurgery and radiotherapy are offered and available through the medical school's Department of Radiation Oncology at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.
Stereotactic radiosurgery treatment is completed in one day, while stereotactic radiotherapy treatment may require treatments of several days. Advanced technologies are used to deliver radiation precisely to cancer target and radiation dose is usually higher than conventional radiation treatment.
More than 1 million cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancers will be diagnosed in the United States this year; these cancers can usually be cured. Nearly 60,000 cases of melanoma are diagnosed annually. Nearly 5,000 men and 2,900 women will die from the disease this year. Skin cancer usually occurs in adults but can sometimes affect children and teenagers.
General Risk Factors for Skin Cancer
There are many risk factors for developing skin cancer, ranging from sun exposure to moles to family history: Read more...
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the state's only comprehensive cancer center, take a multidisciplinary approach to treating soft tissue and skin cancers.
A sarcoma is a type of malignancy that arises from abnormal cells arising from mesenchymal origin, including malignant bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, vascular, or other connective tissues. Sarcomas are quite rare in comparison to other common malignancies, such as breast, colon and lung cancer that are almost always carcinoma. We have extensive experience treating adult and pediatric sarcomas, including soft tissue sarcoma, osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Ewing’s sarcoma and Rhabdomyosarcoma.
Sarcoma is an uncommon cancer and treating patients optimally requires close collaboration among surgeons, medical oncologists (or pediatric oncologists), radiation oncologists, pathologists and radiologists. Rutgers has a dedicated team of specialists, so that we can provide the best care possible for each individual patient.
As its name suggests, total body irradiation (TBI) involves irradiation of the entire body. It is typically used in conjunction with high-dose chemotherapy in adult and pediatric patients undergoing stem cell transplantation for leukemias, lymphomas and other hematologic conditions.
The purpose of TBI is to eradicate remaining cancer cells and to cause immunosuppression (depression of the immune system). Immunosuppresion is required to help reduce the risk of rejection of transplanted tissue. Since the immune cells of the body are widely dispersed, irradiation of the entire body is indicated.
Although the entire body is irradiated, care is taken to reduce the dose to the underlying normal lung tissue. This is done with the use of customized lung blocks fabricated with low-melting point metal alloy known as “cerrobend.” These blocks are carefully placed over the lungs at the time of treatment.
TBI treatment typically is delivered twice daily over three days. However, a variety of other approaches may be used depending on the tumor site and the individual protocol. A current multiple myeloma TBI regimen, for example, uses a single fraction of 2 Gy. In most protocols, however, the total dose is 12.
Total Skin Electron Irradiation Therapy (TSET) is offered and available in the medical school's Department of Radiation Oncology at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. The Total Skin Electron Therapy (TSET) program is used in the management of patients with cutaneous lymphoma, as well as several other disorders.
Quality assurance is a critical feature in the delivery of such technically complicated therapy, and the departmental radiation physics and dosimetry staff members are an integral part of the program. Patients will be seen in consultation by Dr. Bruce Haffty (department chairman) or Dr. Alan Cohler, who will be leading the program.
The clinical visit will be organized in such a manner that patients will become familiar with our cutaneous lymphoma program. Additional clinical support may be required, based on specific treatment recommendations. A nursing educational session will provide patients with information describing the TSET program and what they may expect from treatment; this session will be provided during the initial consultation visit. Patients will receive detailed written information, references and concepts that are presented and reviewed during their first consultation visit.
Our treatment facility is state of the art with multiple radiotherapeutic modalities, which will incorporate TSET into the management of patients with cutaneous lymphoma. The standard course of TSET is provided over nine weeks, four days per week, approximately one hour per day.
Participating Providers (9)
|Laura E Bond, MD||(908) 685-2930|
|Joel K Braver, MD||(908) 685-2930|
|Alan Cohler, MD||(732) 253-3939|
|Bruce G Haffty, MD||(732) 253-3939|
|Salma K. Jabbour, MD||(732) 253-3939|
|Sung N. Kim, MD||(732) 253-3939|
|Omar M. Mahmoud, MD||(732) 253-3939|
|Michael G. McKenna, MD||(732) 253-3939|
|Rahul R Parikh, MD||(732) 253-3939|