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Clinical Updates

Radiation Oncology

Program Update: Department of Radiation Oncology


Radiation OncologyUCLA’s Department of Radiation Oncology is committed to patient care and advancing cancer research. Our faculty are innovators in the development and implementation of stateof- the-art technologies and can offer the most advanced treatments to patients whose cancers range from the relatively common — with extensive experience and excellent outcomes in treating prostate, lung and breast cancers — to the most complex and rare oncology cases.

Leading Technology and Research

Physicians in the UCLA Department of Radiation Oncology apply thoughtful, discovery-based treatment strategies. For decades, researchers at UCLA have advanced the understanding of cancer’s natural biology and the application of radiation therapy. This has led to the development of unique treatment strategies that have had a major impact around the world.

Stereotactic Radiosurgery and Stereotactic Radiation Therapy

UCLA was among the leaders in developing stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and remains a leader in its use to treat tumors in the brain, as well as to treat a number of non-cancerous disorders, such as arteriovenous malformations. SRS delivers a high dose of ionizing radiation with exceedingly high precision while sparing nearby normal tissue. This radiation treatment can be delivered in a single dose, or spread over a number of treatments utilizing a technique known as stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT).

Radiation Oncology ScansRecently, UCLA has helped to pioneer stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) techniques that allow the same highly precise radiation to be used in other areas of the body. SBRT relies on the use of advanced imaging to precisely target the radiation dose and often requires accounting for movement due to the patient’s breathing cycle.

UCLA is among the most experienced centers in the United States in SRS, SRT and SBRT.

Another advanced form of radiation therapy is intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). With IMRT, physicians focus a very large number of radiation beams of varying intensity at the target site to minimize damage to normal tissue. Our medical physics team is composed of leading scientists who help deliver superior treatment to our patients. Our physicists support multiple iterations of treatment plans and complete rigorous computerized comparisons of all IMRT plans. The combination of highly skilled scientists with the latest available technology helps produce the best possible outcomes for all of our patients.

Department Highlights

The UCLA Department of Radiation Oncology pushes back the boundaries of cancer treatment through the application of novel therapeutic strategies. UCLA physicians and team members apply a unique approach to multidisciplinary management of a wide array of cancers including colon, kidney, prostate, lung, bladder, brain, skin and breast.

Head and neck cancer. As a major referral center, UCLA treats a large number of patients with cancers of the head and neck. Even relatively rare disorders that are seldom seen at smaller centers are routinely cared for by UCLA’s highly experienced team of experts.

SBRT for tumors throughout the body. UCLA radiation oncologists offer one of the most extensive SBRT programs in the country. One to five fractions of radiation are delivered to treat tumors of the lung, liver, kidney, pancreas, biliary tract, spine, adrenal and prostate glands.

Functional Imaging for Precise Radiation Therapy

Radiation Oncolgoy ImagingUCLA radiation oncologists use a combination of PET (positron emission tomography), CT (computed tomography) and functional MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to help plan, monitor and evaluate radiation treatments. Using real-time treatment adaptation methods, they are able to customize treatments as they are being administered to individualize therapy for patients. UCLA’s strengths in radiological and molecular imaging, and the availability of specialized medical physicists and other scientists with special expertise, help to place us among the leaders in the use of functional imaging in radiation oncology care.

Research . . . the Cure for Cancer

The Department of Radiation Oncology is actively pursuing new cancer therapies, working to apply the latest laboratory research findings to the treatment of cancer patients. Ongoing research at UCLA in cancer stem cells, cancer cell signaling pathways, immunologic therapies and other areas are yielding insights that will help shape future treatments. Translational research by our scientists and physicians will bring emerging scientific understanding to the treatment clinic in the form of new therapies.

Our physicians are dedicated to state-of-the-art care and participate in many cancer research clinical trials, allowing our patients access to the very latest medical developments and treatment options. Our team of research professionals includes physicians, physicists, dosimetrists, radiation therapists, clinic staff and a clinical research coordinator.

Compassionate Care

The Department of Radiation Oncology is committed to providing state-of-the-art medical therapy in a truly caring environment. UCLA offers easy access to well coordinated care by a multidisciplinary team of specialists, ensuring that patients are seen by appropriate experts from the full range of medical specialties. A full-time social worker in the department helps satisfy the psychological and social needs of patients and their families.

UCLA Department of Radiation Oncology

200 UCLA Medical Plaza, Suite B265
Los Angeles, CA 90095-6951
Phone: (310) 825-9775
Fax: (310) 794-9795

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