The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Lifespan Cancer Institute have created a strategic alliance to advance cancer treatment and research.
Radiation Therapy and Oncology Services in Rhode Island
The Lifespan Cancer Institute’s radiation oncology department includes pioneering physicians, unique and sophisticated technology, and experienced staff.
Using an array of advanced technologies, the department of radiation oncology has a proven record of superior outcomes for patients who have been diagnosed with common and uncommon cancers of every type.
At the Lifespan Cancer Institute, doctors and care teams utilize the most advanced radiation therapies and customize treatment plans for each patient's specific needs.
What Is Radiation Therapy?
Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) is a type of cancer treatment that uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation utilizes intense energy beams to seek out the damaged cells and kill or slow the progression of cancer by damaging the cell’s DNA. Many times, radiation is used in conjunction with other cancer treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. However, unlike other cancer treatments, radiation therapy can be administered before, during, or even after other treatments to help increase the chances of a positive outcome.
Clinical Trials for Radiotherapy
Research is currently being conducted to learn more about radiotherapy.
Radiation Therapy Side Effects
As with many cancer treatments, radiation therapy can have side effects. Because radiation targets cells in the body, it can also affect nearby healthy cells. Most often, the side effects produced by radiation therapy are mild and temporary, and in some cases patients may not experience side effects at all. The most common side effect tends to be fatigue, with the intensity ranging from patient to patient. One of the benefits of radiation versus chemo is site-specific side effects. The reactions that may develop often depend on which area or part of the body is being exposed to the radiation.
Expert Radiation Oncologists
David Wazer, MD, an internationally recognized specialist in the treatment of breast cancer, leads the Lifespan Cancer Institute's radiation oncology program, which is affiliated with The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He is also a leading expert in the latest radiation therapies, such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy, high-dose-rate brachytherapy, and stereotactic radiosurgery. Under his guidance, the department is at the forefront of innovation and research for the treatment of cancer.
Meet our team of expert radiation oncologists:
- Thomas DiPetrillo, MD
- Jaroslaw T. Hepel, MD
- Timothy J. Kinsella, MD
- Kara Leonard, MD
- Yakub Puthawala, MD
- Esther Yu, MD
Our Comprehensive Team
Our multidisciplinary team works together to provide integrated, seamless care for every patient.
Team members include:
The program's team approach to care allows our physicians to share each other’s experiences and expertise to best serve each patient we treat. Our program works within the Lifespan Cancer Institute’s multidisciplinary services to meet all our patients’ needs. We encourage patients to use free services such as patient navigation, clinical social work and complementary therapies.
Cancer Research and Clinical Trials
The Lifespan Cancer Institute is an active clinical trials site, committed to providing patients with the latest protocols. Our patients have access to groundbreaking new immunotherapies and other new and emerging cancer treatments at various stages of diagnosis and across many cancer types. Cancer treatments include the latest chemotherapy, biologic agents, radiation oncology, surgery, and image-guided procedures—many of which are not available elsewhere in New England. Our physicians actively participate in the Brown University Oncology Group, a unique regional clinical trials network that provides innovative approaches to cancer care.