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Multiple Options in Radiation Oncology Help Tailor CNS Treatment to Patients

March 01, 2022

Radiation oncologists treating central nervous system tumors (CNS) at Orlando Health Cancer Institute have access to the most advanced cancer-fighting modalities available. These innovations help skilled specialists deliver precise doses of radiation, targeting CNS tumors while sparing healthy tissue, improving results and reducing side effects.

HyperArc 1
BrainLab Elements

The wide array of specialized protocols includes leading-edge treatment planning systems, novel techniques and state-of-the-art technologies such as proton therapy, intensity-modulated radiotherapy, stereotactic radiosurgery and image-guided radiotherapy, among others.

“Orlando Health is the only radiation oncology center in Central Florida providing proton therapy to treat complex CNS cases and retreatment of patients who previously received radiation,” says Catherine E. Mercado, MD, a board-certified radiation oncologist with the Center for Advanced Radiation Therapy at the Orlando Health Cancer Institute.

“Catherine
Catherine E. Mercado, MD

Other advancements include:

  • Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) using The Varian Edge™ Radiosurgery System (HyperArc), which pinpoints highly focused radiation on CNS tumors and is used for quickly addressing multiple brain lesions, often in fewer sessions.
  • BrainLab iPlan and Elements SRS Treatment planning-systems, which offer an alternative to invasive surgery by delivering highly precise radiation, accurate within 2 millimeters, in the treatment of both malignant and benign CNS tumors such as arterial venous malformations (AVM).
  • Gamma Tile, a novel device recently introduced at Orlando Health and designed to deliver surgically targeted radiation therapy for treatment of recurrent glioblastomas, atypical meningiomas and brain metastasis, offering an option to patients with recurrent tumors for whom choices have been limited.  

“We have a very specialized, comprehensive, collaborative program we can individually tailor to the patient’s needs,” says Dr. Mercado. “Like my partner, I only treat CNS tumors, working with neuro-oncologists and surgeons who also are brain- and spine-tumor specialists to deliver the most appropriate treatment for each patient. This specialization makes Orlando Health unique in the realm of radiation oncology.”

The cancer institute also uses these treatments for conditions beyond malignancies. “We're open to working with patients with benign diseases such as schwannomas, meningiomas or trigeminal neuralgia — disease processes that radiation is potentially extremely effective in treating,” says Dr. Mercado.

Orlando Health hospitals are recognized among the nation’s best through the IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals study for 2021.

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