Radiation Treatment Choices and Types


The usual treatment protocal for ACC is to surgically remove any known tumor and then utilize radiation treatment if necessary. There are choices and reasons for seeking radiation with or without surgery. 


In the past 10 years major improvements have been made in radiation technology that have produced delivery systems that were never thought possible.  There are many technical terms, confusing meanings, and technical "jargon" associated with selecting a particular type of radiation therapy, especially for a newly diagnosed patient.    

Our focus and intent is to provide the most helpful information we can in helping ACC patients understand the types of radiation available. Much of the information we want to make available to patients is in PDF format. Most computers have Adobe Acrobat Reader which is necessary to open that type of document. If you find that you do not have it on your computer, you can simply go to this link and easily install it on your computer.   

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Radiation Basics

Click on the name of each title to take you to the information

Generalized Terms Used For Radiation Delivery Systems
Fundamental Types of Radiation Beams
Basic Science Behind Radiation Therapy
Radiation Side Effects Glossary of Terms
Radiation Side Effects

Some of these may or may not occur for a patient depending upon the area being treated. For tumors in the head and neck area many of these are quite common for many patients.

Radiation Side Effects Palliative Treatments 

This provides a list of types of treatments used to lesson the pain and disruption of the more common side effects.


Radiation Platforms

The ACCOI community share their experiences and discoveries with each other, and a major point of discussion with the group has always been choices in radiation treatments. Some of the common choices for external beam radiation have been various types of Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT), Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS), Neutron Therapy and Proton Therapy. Most types of radiation treatments can be grouped into one of these categories. We have gathered information for each of these categories with several articles that explain their use, treatment protocals and more technical explanations. Some of these platforms can be used for a variety of areas of the body, and new technologies and improvements continue to take place.

Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT)

SBRT is delivered by a fairly large number of regional treatment centers with many of the radiation equipment manufacturers. This treatment is usually provided with multiple treatments over an extended period of time.

Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS)

SRS has the word "surgery" in it because it is more similar to typical surgery. It is done with one treatment of high dose radiation, and is utilized primarily for brain tumors, and requires very accurate equipment.

Proton Therapy

This is another unique radiation platform that is very precise and is delivered from a very large equipment platform. There are currently approximately 14 Proton Centers in the US that have this platform available with 12 new sites opening soon.

Ion-Beam Therapy

The only place this treatment is available is in Germany and Japan. It is the newest type of fundamental radiation having started treating patients in 2007. 

RadiologyInfo.org is a free Internet resource for patients with information on radiologic tests and therapies. This website is sponsored by the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the Radiologic Society of North America (RSNA).