Lung Cancer Thoracic Radiation Therapy Services

Radiation therapy — or radiation oncology — is a treatment option for many people with lung cancer.

Radiation therapy often uses externally applied x-rays to kill cancer cells by damaging their DNA. Sometimes, it involves placing radioactive materials in or close to the lung tumor.

Radiation oncologists at UPMC CancerCenter work with their colleagues in surgical and medical oncology to create a custom treatment plan.

Your care team often pairs radiation therapy with medical oncology treatment. We refer to this combined treatment as chemoradiation or chemoradiotherapy.

When doctors don't advise lung cancer surgery, radiation can help to shrink a tumor and stop it from spreading. It can also help manage pain.

Types of Radiation Treatments for Lung Cancer

UPMC CancerCenter is a leader in applying cutting-edge radiation technologies to treat lung cancer.

Our state-of-the-art equipment and treatments make certain you receive the best possible lung cancer care.

Our radiation approaches include:

  • 3D conformal radiotherapy shapes the beams of radiation to match the lung tumor.
  • 4D CT/4D PET imaging scans trace your tumor through every point of your breathing cycle. This allows us to more precisely target your lung cancer treatment.
  • Brachytherapy is a type of internally delivered radiation therapy.
  • CyberKnife® Synchrony® is an imaging system designed for precise targeting of tumors on or around the lungs.
  • Image-guided radiation therapy allows us to track and adjust your treatments over time to match the changing shape of your tumor.
  • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy lets us bend the radiation beams to match the shape of your tumor for improved precision.

Some people have side effects from radiation treatment. Radiation along with chemo can increase the level of your side effects.

Your radiation oncologist and lung cancer care team will do all they can to reduce any side effects you may have.

Advanced Radiation Treatments for Lung Cancer at UPMC

UPMC CancerCenter also offers the following highly advanced approaches to radiation therapy for lung cancer: