Jefferson University Hospitals

Radiation Therapy

Related Content
  • Among the Nation's Best for Cancer
    Among the Nation's Best for Cancer
    U.S. News has named Jefferson among the best hospitals in the nation for Cancer care.
    Learn More >

Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy X-rays to treat cancer. About half of all cancer patients will receive radiation therapy at some point in their treatment.

If you are concerned with how radiation may affect your health, Jefferson physicians have made great strides in reducing the effects of radiation on normal tissue surrounding the tumor being treated. As a result, in many cases, fatigue is the only significant side effect of radiation therapy and other side effects are limited to the area being treated.

Advanced Therapies Offered in Philadelphia

Radiation oncologists at the Bodine Center for Radiation Therapy / Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson have developed several new cancer treatments and have helped pioneer the use of advanced radiation therapies that precisely target cancerous tumors. Radiation therapies help a significant number of our patients realize cures, while successfully slowing the progress of cancers for many others. Our state-of-the-art image-based planning and treatment systems offer a more targeted delivery of therapies. Some of the advanced radiation therapies offered at Jefferson include:


  • Brachytherapy – a procedure that involves implanting tiny radioactive seeds at the site of the tumor, which, compared with external radiation therapy, allows for a higher dose of radiation to be safely administered.
  • Conformal radiation therapy – uses computers to create a 3-D picture of the tumor so that multiple radiation beams can be shaped exactly to the contour of the treatment area, sparing normal tissue.
  • External radiation therapy – a high-energy beam is directed at the tumor site for a few minutes during each treatment over a period of weeks.
  • Hyperthermia – a form of thermal therapy that utilizes moderate temperature elevation to enhance the effects of radiation and chemotherapy.
  • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) – delivers radiation doses that precisely fit the 3-D shape of a tumor. It also tightly regulates the intensity of the radiation to more closely target the tumors and spare surrounding tissue.
  • Radioembolization (also known as selective internal radiation therapy) – For patients with primary liver cancer or liver metastases, this localized radiation delivers a high dose of radiation to the tumor while sparing the healthy liver. This breakthrough treatment delivers radiation directly to tumors via microscopic glass bubbles filled with a radioactive material called yttrium-90. 
  • Total skin electron beam therapy (TSEBT) – a form of radiotherapy delivered to the entire skin surface. It is used when the skin lymphoma has affected many areas of your skin.
  • Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT) – a new generation arc therapy technique that establishes new standards for treatment speed and dose conformity.