- Providing State of the Art Radiation Therapy Services in the community for 23 years
- Equipped with a Siemens Primus Linear Accelerator capable of delivering both 3-D Conformal Radiation Therapy (3D-CRT) and Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
- In 2002, 1st center in Northwest Indiana to start IMRT treatments ahead of many leading cancer centers in Chicago
- We have been performing 3D-CRT since 1996 and IMRT since May of 2002.
- NIOC has generated over 1,000 IMRT plans since 2002
- We also have a treatment planning system with CT/MRI and CT/PET fusion capabilities to develop a sophisticated and accurate treatment plan.
- BAT ultrasound daily positioning device designed for prostate IMRT patients in use since 2005
- Brachytherapy program since 1986 and a Prostate Seed Brachytherapy program added in July 2001.
Linear accelerator- a machine used in radiation therapy to deliver external beam radiation. External beam means that the radiation is directed at the cancer cells from a machine outside of the body. The Linear accelerator (Linac) accelerates electrons toward a metal target inside the linac causing a collision and as a result, high-powered x-rays are produced.
3D Conformal Radiation Therapy (3D-CRT) is accomplished through the use of high technology computers and treatment planning systems. NIOC uses imaging data from diagnostic scans from Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) to map the location of the tumor and surrounding organs from three directions. Producing a three-dimensional or 3D treatment plan allows NIOC to shape the radiation beams from multiple directions to conform to the shape of the tumor. By using 3D-CRT the radiation can be aimed more precisely at a higher dose while at the same time reducing the amount of dose to nearby normal tissues.
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) In May of 2002, NIOC became the1st treatment center in Northwest Indiana to offer IMRT ahead of many of the leading cancer centers in Chicago. This state-of-the-art treatment delivery method conforms to the tumor and uses many multiple shaped radiation fields and modulates the intensity of each radiation beam delivered to the tumor. IMRT allows an even higher radiation dose to the target while continuing to spare the nearby healthy tissues. By controlling the strength of the beam, IMRT typically results in fewer side effects for the patient. NIOC has effectively used IMRT in the treatment of various types of cancers such as the brain, breast, head & neck cancers, lung, prostate, rectum and spine.
B-mode Acquisition and Targeting (BAT) a precise patient positioning device that utilizes ultrasound images taken prior to each IMRT prostate treatment. BAT is used to verify and adjust the patient by comparing the patient’s position at the time of treatment planning with the real-time ultrasound image taken moments before treatment. This daily ultrasound guidance is to ensure the target volume is centered accurately within the radiation treatment field immediately prior to each individual treatment.
Brachytherapy also known as internal radiation therapy, places radioactive sources directly into or just next to the cancer. Depending on the type of cancer, the radioactive sources may be placed permanently or left in the body for a brief time. Brachytherapy is a faster, more effective way to deliver a maximum dose of radiation to the cancer while limiting radiation to healthy cells. The main types of Brachytherapy are interstitial and intracavitary. Interstitial Brachytherapy typically consists of the radioactive sources being placed permanently into the tissues and is most commonly associated with prostate seed implants. These permanent radioactive sources can give off radiation for several weeks or months. Intracavitary Brachytherapy places the radioactive source into a body cavity located near the tumor for a short period of time and is then taken out. This is an example of a temporary implant and can involve some areas of the body such as the cervix, esophagus, uterus or vagina.