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:
- Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
- Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT)
- RapidArc technology
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.