Cancer care: Rutgers Cancer Institute of N.J. and RWJBarnabas Health offer most advanced radiation therapy treatment

As the state’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and RWJBarnabas Health offer the most premier cancer care available. Patients have access to the state’s largest integrated multidisciplinary network of nationally renowned oncologists, nurses and support professionals, who offer advanced treatment options including clinical trials, immunotherapy, precision medicine, complex surgical procedures and sophisticated radiation therapy techniques.

Radiation therapy, which uses precisely targeted doses of high-energy radiation to eliminate cancer cells, is an effective treatment for a wide range of cancers. 

Treatment options include: 

  • External beam radiation therapy, in which high-energy rays are directed from the outside into a specific part of the body;
  • Internal radiation, which involves putting a source of radiation inside the patient’s body. 

Dr. Bruce Haffty, an associate vice chancellor for cancer programs and chair, radiation oncology, Rutgers Cancer Institute and system director of radiation oncology, RWJBarnabas Health, said the radiation oncologists tailor treatment to each patient and their particular type of cancer.

“All of the radiation oncologists throughout RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers Cancer Institute consult regularly with each other,” he said. “We’ve implemented peer-review planning sessions, where every new patient case at each facility is peer-reviewed by multiple physicians. Physicians share their ideas about what radiation therapy treatment might best benefit the patient. 

“Very few health systems have the wide range of these options available, like we do.”

Treatment possibilities

Patients at RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey have access to nationally renowned physicians and the most sophisticated radiation oncology treatments, including:

Brachytherapy: Available in high-dose rate and low-dose rate, brachytherapy places a radioactive source directly into or next to a tumor to emit the radiation to a very precise target. Several types of brachytherapy are available, including intracavitary brachytherapy for gynecologic, lung and esophageal tumors, ocular brachytherapy, interstitial brachytherapy for head and neck tumors, extremity soft tissue sarcomas, breast, prostate and gynecologic tumors, and surface brachytherapy for nonmelanomatous skin cancer.

CyberKnife: CyberKnife delivers radiation therapy precisely to a focused area, in less time and over fewer treatments when compared to traditional radiation therapy. Used primarily to treat cancers of the head and neck, brain, prostate, spine, liver and lung, as well as AVM, neuralgia, menignioms and neuromas.

Gamma Knife: This treatment uses multiple beams of radiation focused with extreme accuracy on the tumor or area to be treated. With Gamma Knife, no incision is required to treat tumors and other abnormalities of the brain.

Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy and Image Guided Radiation Therapy: IMRT and IGRT utilize advanced imaging techniques and computerized radiation delivery techniques that provide high-resolution, 3-D imaging to pinpoint tumor sites while protecting healthy surrounding tissue. Both techniques are used to treat brain tumors, lung cancer and prostate cancer.

Proton Beam Therapy: Proton Beam Therapy targets tumors with pinpoint accuracy, protecting the surrounding tissue and organs. Proton beams have the unique property of stopping at a certain tissue depth, allowing radiation to be directed to a specific location within the tumor. Used primarily to treat a broad variety of tumors, including brain cancer, head and neck cancers, pediatric cancer, lymphomas, breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, gastrointestinal tumors, as well as all types of recurrent cancers previously treated with radiation.

Radioembolization or Selective Internal Radiation Therapy: SIRT is used to improve progression-free survival in patients when surgery is not an option. Used primarily to treat inoperable liver tumors and metastatic colon cancer that has spread to the liver.

Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy:
SBRT is a highly precise treatment technique utilized to destroy tumors by delivering high-dose radiation to small, well-defined tumors, while limiting damage to healthy tissue. SBRT is delivered using advanced linear accelerator technology with image guided treatment capabilities. This technique is primarily used to treat prostate cancer, early-stage lung cancer, pancreatic cancer and liver cancer, as well as oligometastatic disease/progression including lesions in the spine, lung, liver, and other sites.

Stereotactic Radiosurgery: SRS uses a high-dose, tightly focused radiation beam localized to the brain for both benign and malignant tumors performed in one to five sessions. Used primarily to treat brain tumors, trigeminal meuralgia, acoustic neuroma and atriovenous malformation.

To learn more or schedule an appointment, call 844-CancerNJ or visit