Pediatric Radiation Oncology
Overview For children who need radiation treatment for cancer, Stony Brook Children's offers comprehensive and compassionate care backed by the most state-of-the-art facilities and technology. Our focus is to deliver highly targeted radiation that limits exposure to normal tissue. As a participant in the Children's Oncology Group (COG), a prestigious national organization that sets the standard for children's cancer, we have access to the latest protocols. And as an academic medical center, we are often the first in the area to have access to potentially life-saving clinical trials. At the heart of our program, however, is our highly trained staff who are dedicated to helping children and families get through this challenging time with the best possible outcome.
Contact Us Department of Radiation Oncology Level 2 Hospital Phone: (631) 444-2210 Fax: (631) 689-9901
Our Team Led by board-certified pediatric radiation oncologist Tamara Weiss, MD, the radiation oncology team includes radiation oncology nursing, dosimetrists, medical physicists, and radiation therapists. The physicians are also part of the multidisciplinary pediatric oncology team which meets regularly to develop the appropriate plan of care for each child, review progress, adjust treatment if needed, work with the family, and follow the child through the full continuum of care.
Services So much of pediatric radiation oncology comes down having the most advanced equipment and the staff to use it properly. Stony Brook Children's has both, which makes it a regional resource. In fact, many of the advances in radiation oncology are developed at Stony Brook University Medical Center in conjunction with the manufacturer. This not only gives our patients unprecedented access to the latest technology, but also ensures that by the time the equipment gets into the mainstream, our physicians and technologists have already become familiar with it; in fact, often they are the ones training other professionals in the area. Also of note: With health care, good outcomes are associated with high volumes. That is, the more a physician or a hospital performs a procedure, the better and more efficient they become at it—to the patient's benefit. Stony Brook has some of the highest volumes in the region, which typically translates into better outcomes.
The technology a the core of Stony Brook's pediatric radiation oncology program includes:
Recently implemented, RapidArc provides both IMRT and IGRT in a more rapid fashion, which requires children to be on the treatment table and holding still for a shorter period of time.
We also can provide radiation with sedation when children require it. We use a safe, fast-acting, deep sedation calibrated for the individual child that leaves the child with no memory of the procedure.
In addition, for children who need custom masks to keep them still for treatment, we have a very talented staff member who decorates them with the character of the child's choice. This can include Nemo, Darth Vadar, Cinderella, Ariel, and many other favorites.
Research and Education As an academic medical center, Stony Brook Children's has the privilege of training the next generation of physicians—something that also brings many benefits to hospital patients including access to the latest protocols and procedures as well as to some of the best minds in medicine. The Radiation Oncology Department has a two-year residency program in medical physics. It also trains medical dosimetrists, the technologists who typically administer the radiation under physician guidance.
In addition, both Drs. Valentine and Weiss teach at the Stony Brook University School of Medicine.
Advances and Recognitions The Department’s Vice Chair for Clinical Services, Dr. Tamara Weiss, is a member of the prestigious Children’s Oncology Group (COG), which gives us access to the most up-to-date protocols and research on children’s cancer available worldwide.