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At UCLA, our innovation in radiation oncology spans more than three decades. We were the first center in Southern California to install a state-of-the-art, image-guided device to provide more accurate, concentrated doses of radiation. That treatment, stereotactic radiosurgery, is just one of the many radiation therapies we offer for brain tumors.
Radiation Oncology Treatment for Brain Tumors at UCLA
Radiation oncology works by destroying tumor cells with high-energy radiation. Our radiation oncology experts work exclusively with brain tumor patients. Such specialization allows us to deliver treatments with unparalleled precision and safety.
Highlights of our program include:
- Expertise: Our three neuro-radiation oncologists have special training in brain tumor treatment. Their expertise allows us to successfully care for a full range of brain tumors, including complex and uncommon cases. They also work with other Brain Tumor Center experts to seamlessly coordinate additional, personalized treatments. Our approach provides patients with the best outcomes.
- Research: Our research is advancing the field of neuro-radiation oncology. In fact, UCLA was instrumental in developing the Novalis Tx® Stereotactic Radiosurgery System. Novalis® is now considered the gold standard for shaped-beam radiosurgery.
- Range of treatment options: We offer a comprehensive range of radiation therapies, including three types of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). IMRT delivers precision, high-resolution radiation beams with the help of special technologies.
- Safety: Our expertise and advanced technology allow us to focus radiation precisely on the tumor. This approach minimizes the impact on healthy tissue and results in the lowest necessary radiation exposure.
In addition to their dedication to the Brain Tumor Center, our neuro-radiation oncology experts are also part of the UCLA Department of Radiation Oncology.
Advanced Radiation Therapy at the UCLA Brain Tumor Center
The goal of radiation therapy is to get enough radiation into the tumor to destroy cancer cells while preventing damage to healthy brain tissue. As one of the top brain tumor programs in the country, we have a long history of offering only the best and most accurate radiation therapies. Our legacy includes being the first program in the country to offer radiosurgery nearly 35 years ago, and we continue to innovate.
Our radiation therapies include:
- Stereotactic radiosurgery and stereotactic radiotherapy: These related treatments focus strong radiation in small areas with the help of computer-assisted equipment. (Despite its name, radiosurgery is not a surgical procedure.) Radiosurgery treatments are often completed in one session, while radiotherapy can take one to two weeks — in contrast to the six weeks or more required for traditional radiation therapy. Our Radiosurgery team can also treat multiple metastatic targets at once using an innovative treatment technique, delivering more time-efficient and patient-centered care. Learn more about our Stereotactic Radiosurgery Program.
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT): IMRT uses special technology to customize the shape and intensity of radiation beams. This approach minimizes damage to healthy tissue and limits the side effects you may experience.
- Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT): 3D-CRT delivers a steady dose of radiation through multiple beams that match the exact shape of the tumor. This technique makes it possible to safely use higher levels of radiation.
Brain Tumor Radiation Therapy Using Advanced Technology
We only use the latest technology for radiation therapy, ensuring the most accurate targeting of the tumor, the most precise treatment and the greatest protection of healthy tissue. We actually pioneered many of today’s most innovative and promising radiation technologies.
Our technologies include:
- Novalis Tx® Stereotactic Radiosurgery System: Developed by researchers at UCLA, Novalis Tx® delivers precise radiotherapy up to eight times faster than other systems. This speed decreases the chance that your movement will affect treatment.
- 4πRadiotherapy: Using three-dimensional modeling and advanced navigation techniques, 4π ensures even radiation dosing for irregularly shaped tumors. Developed by one of our physicists, this technology is only available at UCLA.
- ViewRay®: This system uses a unique combination of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and radiation therapy technology. ViewRay® delivers crisp images for planning and guiding your treatment. UCLA is home to one of three such devices in the world.
- TomoTherapy®: TomoTherapy® uses daily CT images (instead of monthly) to deliver radiation with a high degree of precision. This approach allows us to customize and adapt treatments as the size and shape of the tumor changes.
- TrueBeam™: More than 100 computer-controlled “leaves” help deliver a focused radiation beam. This feature sculpts the radiation to match the exact shape of the tumor. Read TrueBeam™ Frequently Asked Questions.