Urologic Cancer Treatment

Ryan Cleary Urologic Cancer Robotic
Ryan Cleary, MD, Urologist and Robotic Surgeon

MedStar Health is home to cancer specialists with recognized expertise in the treatment of prostate, kidney, bladder, and other urologic cancers. Our team, with decades of experience and fellowship-trained robotics surgeons, is dedicated to eliminating your cancer while minimizing the effects of treatment on your general health and lifestyle.

Our experts specialize in tailored-to-you combinations of the latest cancer-fighting techniques, including:

  • Chemotherapy for early stage treatment
  • Hormone Therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • The most advanced medical oncology and radiation oncology available
  • Surgical treatments
  • Support services including nurse navigators, nutritionists, psychologists, and more
  • Palliative services to help those with complex cases find relief from the symptoms and stress, improving quality of life for patients and families
  • Clinical trials

MedStar Health patients experience the best of both worlds: access to advanced academic medicine and an NCI affiliated location, and an expansive network allowing you to see a specialist close to your home or work.

Surgical Treatments

MedStar Health offers both traditional open surgeries and advanced robotic programs for all the malignancies: kidney, bladder, prostate, urethral, testicular. These cutting-edge procedures help reduce time in the hospital and in recovery. Some of our procedures include:

  • Radical cystectomy and neobladder
  • Minimally invasive robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery
  • Robotic partial nephrectomy
  • Da Vinci® Robotic Surgery System
  • Prostatectomy
  • IMRT, image-guided radiation therapy and LDR brachytherapy
  • High-intensity focused ultrasound
  • Microwave therapy for renal masses
  • CyberKnife® and stereotactic

Combined Therapies. Team Approach.

Because we provide coordinated, multidisciplinary care, we can make targeted decisions that smaller hospitals and systems might not be able to support. This means better outcomes.

Your treatment team extends beyond your surgeon or oncologist. Your MedStar team also includes peer expert surgeons and oncologists, nurses who understand your cancer, physical therapists, genetic counselors, enterostomal therapists, clinical researchers, medical and radiation oncologists, palliative care and more. A physician assistant might also help to coordinate your care.

You can feel confident in the knowledge that our full team of experts meet to discuss your unique case. Our singular goal is to treat your cancer, which means we bring in experts from other specialties to help build the best plan for you. We will also bring in experts to help maximize your success, whether that means boosting your nutrition or genetic counseling due to your unique family history.

Treating Unique Patient Populations

MedStar Health is committed to treating the most unique and diverse populations, which means we are prepared to treat patients with very specific physical, religious and ethical needs.

We offer bloodless surgery for patients who refuse transfusions by helping to physically prepare them to eliminate the risk of transfusion. We also accommodate obese patients using robotic surgery, complementary nutritional treatments, larger beds and longer equipment.

Another unique group we serve are patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease or massively enlarged kidneys. Many of these patients end up on dialysis and have a higher risk of kidney cancer. We provide an easier path to transplant by removing the affected kidney. We track this problem closer than many hospitals and health systems, including genetic profiling for children of patients with the disease.

Clinical Trials

We provide access to many drugs and therapies before they are released to the general public. This allows patients who have failed standard therapies new options.

Learn more about clinical trials

Genetic Counseling

Family history of urologic cancer is a known risk factor for patients, but newer research has even connected breast cancer in the family as a risk factor for prostate cancer. Genetic counseling can help assess your risk of urologic cancers based on your family medical history of urologic and other cancers with known correlations to urologic cancers.

Our geneticists will work with you to review your family history, looking for factors that increase your likelihood of developing cancer. We will assist you in developing strategies to manage your unique cancer risk.

Meet our certified genetic counselor

Need a second opinion or more advanced care? We're ready to fight for you. Call 1-877-715-HOPE or find a urologic cancer specialist.

Location Information

For a physician referral, please call 1-877-715-HOPE.

Our Locations

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Cancer Institute
9103 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237

MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital
5601 Loch Raven Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21239

MedStar Harbor Hospital
The Cancer Center
3001 South Hanover St.
Baltimore, MD 21225

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital
3333 North Calvert St.
Johnston Professional Bldg
G23
Baltimore, MD 21218

MedStar Health Bel Air Medical Campus
12 MedStar Blvd.
Bel Air, MD 21015
Phone: 410-515-6090

Lung Cancer Surgery

Dr. Gamliel preparing for surgery.

Surgeons will evaluate the lungs for removal of cancer growths, also known as tumors. There are several different options for surgeons to remove lung tissue. These include a wedge resection, a segmentectomy, a lobectomy, and a pneumonectomy.

  • wedge resection is the removal of the tumor itself that includes some of the surrounding lung tissue or lymph nodes. This is a treatment option considered for early stage disease, specifically where patients have limited lung function.
  • segmentectomy is the removal of a section of the lung and significantly more of the lung tissue surrounding both the tumor and the lymph nodes. Some patients may have health problems that prevent a lobectomy, so the surgeon will assess if a segmentectomy is a suitable alternative to preserve lung function.
  • lobectomy is the removal of one lobe of the lungs while a pneumonectomy is the removal of all lobes of one lung. In general, surgeons try to remove as little lung as needed to eliminate the cancer. However, removal of the lymph nodes and draining the tumor is also important to help reduce the chance of the cancer from recurring. This procedure is the most common surgery performed to treat lung cancer because it removes the entire draining path for tumor cells and gives better assurance that there was not early cancer spread. Those with Stage I, Stage II or Stage IIIA cancer are potential candidates for a lobectomy. Lungs can function normally with the lobes that remain
  • pneumonectomy is the removal of an entire lung. This is only undertaken when there is no other option for removal of the lung cancer. This usually means that the tumor is very central (right next to the heart) and involves the main blood vessels to the lung. 

Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS)

Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS) is a minimally invasive surgical technique used to diagnose and treat problems in your chest, as well as alleviate symptoms of lung cancer. It can be used in a variety of procedures, including biopsy, surgery, or removing excess fluid or air from around the lungs. Since only very small incisions are needed, healing is fast with minimal pain and complications.

In many patients for whom surgery is an option, VATS may be the preferred treatment. VATS is generally used in non-small cell lung cancer patients with stage I or II cancer, and select stage III patients. 

VATS offers patients a number of advantages over traditional open approach:

  • less pain after the operation
  • a better chance of breathing normally 
  • a better quality of life

While hospital stay can be prolonged by minor problems or complications, when discharged, VATS patients notice greater levels of independence and faster return to their preoperative activity levels than thoracotomy patients. Ultimately, no matter which surgical approach you choose, it is important to be as active as possible. Be sure to ask your doctor when you can resume normal activities. Returning to an active daily life after surgery is the ultimate goal.

Location Information

For a physician referral, please call 1-877-715-HOPE.

MedStar Bel Air Medical Campus
12 MedStar Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21239

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
The Angelos Center for Lung Diseases
9103 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237

MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital
5601 Loch Raven Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21239

MedStar Harbor Hospital
3001 South Hanover St.
Baltimore, MD 21225 

Treatment

In The News

Dr. Suman Rao Co-Authors Lung Cancer Study

Lung Cancer Treatment

Lung Cancer

Ziv Gamliel, MD, and Francois Gregoire, MD, members of the lung cancer team. 

Some of the diagnostic procedures for lung cancer are also used as surgical treatments to remove the cancer. Depending on the staging (how far the cancer is spread), your thoracic team will create an appropriate treatment regimen personalized for you. This treatment regimen is based on currently available scientific evidence and research designed for optimal results in cancer treatment.

Effectively treating lung cancer may require some combination of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, all of which are available through MedStar Health Baltimore Cancer Network.

What are the Types of Treatments for Lung Cancer?

 

Location Information

For a physician referral, please call 1-877-715-HOPE.

Lung Cancer at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
The Angelos Center for Lung Diseases
9103 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237

MedStar Health Bel Air Medical Campus
Bel Air Oncology Center
12 MedStar Blvd. 
Bel Air, MD 21015

Lung Cancer at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital
5601 Loch Raven Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21239

Lung Cancer at MedStar Harbor Hospital
The Cancer Center 
3001 South Hanover St.
Baltimore, MD 21225

In The News

Colon Cancer Diagnosis

dr jeffrey ferris colon cancer doctor at medstar franklin square

P. Jeffrey Ferris, MD, Colon and Rectal Surgeon

At MedStar Health Cancer Network cancer centers in Baltimore, we understand how difficult a colon cancer diagnosis can be for you or your loved one. If you’ve been diagnosed with colon and rectal cancer, you can rely on our devoted colon cancer teams, from treatment to follow-up care. Our knowledgeable doctors and nurses will answer any questions you may have during the colon cancer diagnosis and will be with you every step of the way.

Colon Cancer Diagnosis

Our goal at MedStar Health Baltimore Cancer Network is to complete the colon cancer diagnostic phase promptly so that you can begin treatment as soon as possible. We use the most advanced diagnostic technology  to diagnose and stage your colon cancer because we know that the more accurate your diagnosis, the more precise your treatment regimen will be.

Oncologists believe many cases of colon cancer can be cured, as long as they are diagnosed early. Unfortunately, most patients don't schedule regular preventive examinations and only seek medical attention when they have symptoms. As a result, colon cancer is usually diagnosed after it has left the bowel lining and progressed beyond the site of origin.

At MedStar Health cancer centers, we advise our patients to get tested at a younger age and more frequently if they have certain risk factors. These include a strong family history of colon cancer or polyps, a relative with a genetic colon cancer syndrome or a personal history of colon cancer, adenomatous polyps  or inflammatory bowel disease.

Colon Cancer Diagnostic Tests

Doctors at the MedStar Health Cancer Network use a variety of tests to diagnose colon cancer and determine if it has spread (metastasized) to other parts of your body. These tests may also help your doctor determine which treatment will be most effective.

In most cases, a biopsy is the only way to make a definitive colon cancer diagnosis. Your MedStar doctor will consider several factors when deciding which diagnostic test is right for you, such as your age, medical history, type of cancer suspected, symptoms and previous colon cancer tests.

  • Colonoscopy - A colonoscopy allows your MedStar doctor to see inside your rectum and colon to find polyps or other signs of colon cancer.
  • Biopsy - In a biopsy, your MedStar doctor will remove a small amount of tissue from your rectum or colon and examine it under a microscope to determine if cancer is present. Other tests can be used to suggest whether or not cancer is present, but only a biopsy can definitively diagnose colon cancer.
  • Molecular testing - Your MedStar doctor may use molecular testing to determine if your colon cancer treatment options include targeted therapy.
  • Computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan - A CT scan may be used to help your MedStar Health Cancer Network doctor determine if colon cancer has spread to other parts of your body.

In addition to these tests, your doctor may use a blood test, MRI, ultrasound or other tests to help diagnose colon cancer.

Once your diagnostic tests are complete, your doctor will review the results. If the tests show that colon cancer is present, the results of your tests will help your doctor determine the stage of cancer and which treatments options will be most effective.

Colon Cancer Treatment

Pallavi Kumar, MD, Medical Oncologist and Director of Immuno-Oncology 

Have you been diagnosed with colon cancer? If so, it’s important to understand what treatment options are available to you. No matter what treatment option you and your doctor choose, you can rest assured that our colon cancer team is devoted to you and your recovery and will answer any questions you may have. We’ll be with you every step of the way, from diagnosis to treatment to follow-up care.

When you receive your colon cancer diagnosis, your MedStar Health Cancer Network team will proceed quickly to the treatment phase. Your doctor will discuss your colon cancer treatment options with you, which depend on the stage of your colon cancer—whether it has metastasized (spread) and your general health.

Colon Cancer Treatment Options

Surgery is often the cornerstone of any cancer treatment plan. The goal of surgery is to remove the entire tumor, or as much of it as possible. You may have other treatments following the surgery to destroy any remaining cancer cells and prevent it from returning. Sometimes, you receive treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation before your surgery, so the tumor is easier to remove.

MedStar Health also offers robotic surgery for colon cancer, which is a more precise treatment that minimizes the pain and risk associated with surgery while increasing the likelihood of a fast recovery and excellent clinical outcomes. In most cases, surgery is the recommended treatment option, and your doctor may combine it with other treatments, such as radiation or chemotherapy.

There are three primary treatment options for colon cancer. These include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

Colon Cancer Surgery

The preferred treatment for colon cancer is surgery. Depending on the size and stage of the cancer, your MedStar surgeon will recommend either minimally invasive surgery or a traditional surgical approach.

If the polyps are small and localized, your surgeon will remove those during a colonoscopy. Larger polyps may require an endoscopic mucosal resection, which involves removing a small amount of the lining of your colon.

If your colon cancer has grown into or through your colon, your surgeon may perform a partial colectomy. This procedure involves the surgeon removing the part of your colon that contains cancer. In some cases, it’s not possible to reconnect the healthy portions of the colon or rectum. In this case, your MedStar surgeon will have to perform a permanent or temporary colostomy .

  • Local excision is used when the cancer is found at an early stage. Your surgeon accesses the tumor through the rectum and removes it.
  • Resection is used when the tumor is bigger. Your doctor removes the tumor and as much of the colon as necessary and reattaches the healthy part of the colon.
  • Resection with colostomy happens if your doctor is unable to reattach the colon. In order for your body to get rid of waste, your doctor will create an opening, called a stoma. A bag is attached to the stoma to collect the waste. This procedure is called a colostomy.

Chemotherapy for Colon Cancer

In addition to colon cancer surgery, your MedStar doctor may recommend chemotherapy. Chemotherapy uses drugs to destroy cancer cells in your body and is usually given after surgery if your colorectal cancer has spread to your lymph nodes. The goal of chemotherapy is to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence, but it may also be used to help relieve your colon cancer symptoms if it has spread to other parts of your body.

Radiation for Colon Cancer

Radiation therapy uses targeted high-energy rays to kill colon cancer cells that might remain after your surgery. It may also be used to shrink large tumors to make surgery easier or to relieve the symptoms associated with colon cancer. 

 

Breast Cancer Treatment

Have you been diagnosed with breast cancer? If so, you will need to know what breast cancer treatments are available. At MedStar Health Baltimore Cancer Network Breast Centers, we offer a variety of advanced breast cancer care and treatment options from the most skilled and compassionate cancer doctors. Our team of specialists, from oncology nurses to specialists, will carefully evaluate your diagnosis, create a personalized breast cancer treatment plan while providing you with the support and excellence you deserve.

What are the Types of Breast Cancer Treatments?

Many breast cancer patients undergo multiple treatment options, such as a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy, to ensure that all cancer is removed and that it doesn’t come back. Talk to your MedStar physician to find out which breast cancer treatments are best for you.

Treatments for breast cancer are always improving, and thanks to advances in science and medicine, patients have more options to treat their breast cancer than ever before. Because of all the treatments available, it’s important to learn as much as you can about each treatment so that you can make informed decisions and determine which treatments will help you the most. No matter what breast cancer treatment is right for you, the goal is always to help rid your body of as much cancer as possible and prevent the cancer from coming back.

If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, your MedStar cancer care doctor will take several factors into consideration before recommending the best treatment for you. These typically include:

  • The type of breast cancer you’ve been diagnosed with

  • What stage your breast cancer is in

  • Whether or not the tumor has metastasized (spread)

  • Whether or not your breast cancer has receptors for HER2, estrogen, progesterone and others.

Your MedStar Health Cancer Network physician will also take into account factors such as age, other health conditions you may suffer from as well as your personal preferences toward treatment.

Learn more from our breast cancer experts in the videos below:

 

Location Information

For a physician referral, please call 1-877-715-HOPE.

Our Locations

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Cancer Institute
9103 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237

MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital
5601 Loch Raven Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21239

MedStar Harbor Hospital
The Cancer Center
3001 South Hanover St.
Baltimore, MD 21225

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital
3333 North Calvert St.
Johnston Professional Bldg
G23
Baltimore, MD 21218

MedStar Health Bel Air Medical Campus
Breast Center at Bel Air
12 MedStar Blvd. 
Bel Air, MD 21015
Phone: 410-515-6090

Learn More

Prostate Cancer Treatment

David Perry, MD, board-certified radiation oncologist. 

Once you have a prostate cancer diagnosis, your doctor may refer to the stage of the disease by a number. These numbers describe how large the tumor is and how far beyond the urinary system it may have spread. All of these factors will determine your treatment route. Learn more about prostate cancer staging.

While common, prostate cancer is a complex and sometimes hard-to-navigate cancer. Treatment options are varied, depend on a variety of factors (such as age, general health and preferences) and all come with both benefits and risks. It is important to discuss different treatments with your doctor and decide which approach is right for you.

Learn more about prostate cancer treatment options, including: 

Surgery

Surgery is often the cornerstone of any cancer treatment plan. The goal of surgical oncology (surgery for cancer) is to remove the entire tumor, or as much of it as possible. You may have other treatments following the surgery to destroy remaining cancer cells and prevent it from returning. Sometimes, you have a treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation before your surgery, so the tumor is easier to remove.

Your surgical options will depend on the size and stage of the tumor. Surgical procedures at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center may include:

  • Pelvic lymphadenectomy: During this procedure, your surgeon removes the lymph nodes in your pelvis. If the lymph nodes are cancerous, surgery will not be used and your doctor will recommend a different course of treatment.
  • Radical prostatectomy: This is a procedure to remove your entire prostate. MedStar Health offers a minimally invasive surgical procedure called robot-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy.
  • Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP): During this procedure, your surgeon removes tissue from your prostate. This can often help relieve symptoms caused by the cancer.

Surgery to treat prostate cancer may result in impotence and leaking urine or stool. Talk to your doctor about nerve-sparing surgery, which spares the nerves that control erectile function. Depending on the size and location of your tumor, this may be an option for you.

Medication

Cancer specialists at MedStar Health may use medicines to adjust the levels of testosterone. This is called hormonal therapy. Since prostate tumors require testosterone in order to grow, reducing the testosterone level often works very well in preventing further growth and spread of the cancer. Hormone manipulation may also be done by surgically removing the testes.

The drugs Lupron and Zoladex are also being used to treat advanced prostate cancer. These medicines block the production of testosterone. The procedure is often called chemical castration, because it has the same result as surgical removal of the testes. However, it is reversible, unlike surgery. The drugs must be given by injection, usually every 3 months. Possible side effects include nausea and vomiting, hot flashes, anemia, lethargy, osteoporosis, reduced sexual desire, and erectile dysfunction (impotence).

Other medications used for hormonal therapy include androgen-blocking agents (such as bicalutamide), which prevent testosterone from attaching to prostate cells. Possible side effects include erectile dysfunction, loss of sexual desire, liver problems, diarrhea, and enlarged breasts.

Radioactive Seed Implantation

MedStar Health cancer specialists use prostate seed implementation to treat prostate cancer. It is a form of brachytherapy, a mode of treatment in which radioactive material is implanted directly into the organ containing the tumor.

Prostate seeds are tiny titanium metal capsules about the thickness of a toothpick. They contain either radioactive iodine (I-125) or Palladium (Pd-103). Each seed produces a high level of radiation, but only to an area about the size of marble. Seeds are implanted in the prostate through thin tubes, and when the tubes are retracted, the radioactive seeds become permanent implants.

This minimally invasive procedure is popular among men with prostate cancer. It is performed in the operating room under general anesthesia, and the radiation oncologist uses computer software programs, CT scans, and transrectal ultrasound to determine the total amount of radioactivity, as well as the number of seeds and seed distribution required within the prostate.

External Beam Radiation Therapy

Your team of specialists will likely recommend one of the following radiation treatments for prostate cancer:

  • Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) uses devices that allow the radiation beams to move and change intensity, depending on what kind of tissue they are targeting. This flexibility allows different areas of a tumor to receive different amounts of radiation and protect surrounding healthy tissue from unnecessary radiation exposure.
  • Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) uses high-quality imaging technology to create images of the targeted tumor during the radiation procedure. Using these images, your radiation oncology team carefully adjusts the radiation beams during your treatment session to best fit the size, shape, and location of the tumor while sparing normal tissues. This technology delivers high doses of radiation to the prostate gland for cancer cure and reduces the dose to normal structures such as the bladder and rectum to lower the risk of side effects.
  • CyberKnife Radiation: CyberKnife technology allows for the treatment of prostate cancer over just five days, instead of 44. This is possible due to highly precise radiation delivery which allows for dose escalation. Treatment accuracy is of the utmost importance, the prostate is a moving target—it moves when urine fills and then empties from the bladder and when air moves into the rectum. CyberKnife, with an advanced combination of computer and imaging technology, identifies the exact location of the prostate, coordinates with the Synchrony® Tracking System (which follows the prostate's movement as you breathe), and accurately focuses radiation on the prostate while avoiding surrounding healthy tissue. Learn more about prostate cancer treatment with CyberKnife.

Learn more about external beam radiation therapy.

Monitoring

You will be closely followed after completing treatment to assess for treatment response. This involves routine doctor's checkups and blood work.

Location Information

For a physician referral for CyberKnife treatment, please call 855-546-0750.

Patient Stories

Read prostate cancer treatment stories from patients at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center.

Learn More

Immunotherapy

Transforming Cancer Care through Immunotherapy

Call Us Today

Find out more information or ask for a physician referral.

877-715-HOPE (4673)

Meet the Team

Learn more about the medical oncologists at the MedStar Health Cancer Network.

The MedStar Health Cancer Network: Helping You Fight Cancer on Your Own Terms

Today, thanks to the many advances in cancer treatment that have occurred during the past decade alone, more and more individuals are surviving cancer. This is due in large part to a growing understanding of what cancer is and how it forms, grows, and spreads–knowledge that is transforming how we treat cancer.

At the MedStar Health Cancer Network, we’ve long been committed to a patient-first approach to cancer care. Our patients benefit from a multidisciplinary approach to cancer care that culminates in a customized, treatment plan for each individual. Now, with immunotherapy, we are able to treat cancer in an entirely new way—offering new hope to many and the potential of long-term protection against the disease.

Immunotherapy works by harnessing the power of the immune system to fight cancer. Currently, we offer immunotherapy as a treatment option for lung cancer as well as melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. We are also participating in several clinical trials involving immunotherapy, making it possible for us to offer many of these drugs sooner and to a wider population.

As additional new immune treatments are researched and approved—an ongoing process—so will our ability to treat other types of cancer with immunotherapy. With targeted treatments such as immunotherapy, we can treat cancer cells as aggressively as possible right from the start to achieve the best outcomes.

Learn More About Tumor Immunotherapy

What is Immunotherapy and How Does It Work?

Your immune system is a collection of organs and special cells that help protect you from infections and some diseases by keeping track of the substances normally found in the body. Any new substance it doesn’t recognize—such as germs or abnormal cells—raises an alarm, causing the immune system to attack and try to destroy it.

The immune system’s natural capacity to detect and destroy abnormalities may prevent the development of many cancers. However, cancer cells are sometimes able to avoid detection and destruction by the immune system.  To overcome this, researchers have found ways to help the immune system recognize cancer cells and strengthen its response so that it will destroy them.

Immunotherapy drugs are now used to treat many different types of cancer. These new drugs act in different ways:

  • Some boost the body’s immune system in a very general way.
  • Others help train the immune system to attack cancer cells specifically.

Immunotherapy works better for some types of cancer than for others. It’s used by itself for some cancers, but for others it seems to work better when used with other types of treatment.

Types of Cancer Immunotherapy

The main types of immunotherapy now being used to treat cancer include:

  • Monoclonal antibodies: These are man-made versions of immune system proteins. Antibodies can be very useful in treating cancer because they can be designed to attack a very specific part of a cancer cell.
  • Immune checkpoint inhibitors: These drugs basically take the “brakes” off the immune system, which helps it recognize and attack cancer cells.
  • Cancer vaccines: Vaccines are substances put into the body to start an immune response against certain diseases. While we usually think of them as being given to healthy people to help prevent infections, some vaccines can help prevent or treat cancer.
  • Other, non-specific immunotherapies: These treatments boost the immune system in a general way, which can still help the immune system attack cancer cells.

Many types of immunotherapy are now being studied for use against cancer. These advances in cancer immunotherapy will continue to transform cancer treatment, with the potential for more powerful and less toxic approaches.

Meet Our Team

At the MedStar Health Cancer Network, our medical oncologists are at the forefront of cancer treatment working as a team to tailor treatment regimens for optimal outcomes. These specialists can address all of your questions about immunotherapy.

Pallavi-Kumar

Pallavi Kumar, MD

Suman-Rao

Suman Rao, MD

Shweta-Kurian

Shweta Kurian, MD

Chen, Kevin 200 x 200

Kevin Chen, MD

Lois-Kamugisha

Lois Kamugisha, MD

Mahsa Mohebtash, MD

Dr_Ottaviano_Large

Yvonne Ottaviano, MD

Charles-Padgett

Charles A. Padgett, MD

 

Call 877-715-HOPE (4673)

for more information or a physician referral

Radiation for Breast Cancer: Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT)

Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT), is a single-dose radiation alternative for women with early stage breast cancer. Standard treatment can involve five to six weeks of treatment; with IORT, a single dose is delivered in the operating room immediately following a partial mastectomy/lumpectomy.

Most breast cancer recurrences after surgery occur in the same place as the original tumor. With IORT, we are targeting the radiation and only treating the original tumor bed, so we spare healthy breast tissue that whole-breast radiation may negatively affect. 

Advantages of IORT

  • A single, low-energy radiation dose delivered internally to the tumor during the surgical procedure.
  • Healthy tissue is exposed to less radiation.
  • This treatment is patient-focused, reducing travel time, physical and psychological stress, and time away from work and family.
  • With IORT, women have the choice of breast-sparing treatment (lumpectomy), without the hassle of five to six weeks of daily radiation.

 Is IORT Right for You?

A discussion with your care team about Breast IORT, as well as other treatment options, is necessary to determine if you are a candidate and how to best address your unique needs. Candidates for the new treatment are selected based on age, size and type of tumor. They are evaluated by both a surgeon and a radiation oncologist. This is part of our multidisciplinary approach.

At the MedStar Health Baltimore Cancer Network, our expert radiation oncologists offer numerous types of radiation therapies and create customized treatment plans for patients based on their unique condition. Learn more.  

Learn more about IORT from our radiation oncologists and breast cancer surgeons in the videos below: 

Location Information

For a physician referral, please call 1-877-715-HOPE.

Our Locations

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Cancer Institute
9103 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237

MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital
5601 Loch Raven Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21239

MedStar Harbor Hospital
The Cancer Center
3001 South Hanover St.
Baltimore, MD 21225

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital
3333 North Calvert St.
Johnston Professional Bldg
G23
Baltimore, MD 21218

MedStar Health Bel Air Medical Campus
Bel Air Oncology Center
12 MedStar Blvd. 
Bel Air, MD 21015
Phone: 410-515-6400

Learn More

Prostate Cancer Treatment with CyberKnife®

Members of the expert CyberKnife team at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center. Learn more about our physicians and staff.

Prostate cancer affects the prostate gland, which is the part of a man's reproductive system that helps produce semen. It is located under the bladder, behind the rectum, and it surrounds the urethra, which is a tube that urine passes through.

Cancer develops when cells begin to grow abnormally in the prostate. Prostate cancer is very common in men older than 50. For some men, prostate cancer does not produce symptoms. For others, prostate cancer can cause difficulty urinating, blood in the urine and pain in the lower back and pelvis.

Treating Prostate Cancer with CyberKnife Radiation

Surgery and conventional radiation are common treatments for prostate cancer. But the prostate is a moving target-it moves when urine fills and then empties from the bladder and when air moves into the rectum. This movement makes accessing the prostate-during either surgery or conventional radiation-without affecting surrounding healthy tissue a challenge. The cure rates for prostate cancer with this technology are over 90%. 

CyberKnife offers a convenient, effective and minimally invasive alternative.

CyberKnife uses computers and imaging tools to find the exact location of the tumor. The technology tracks the movement of the prostate and the tumor as a patient breathes and as other bodily processes occur. The tool operates with enough precision and accuracy to allow doctors to focus radiation on the tumor itself and not on surrounding healthy tissue.

Patient Story

Meet David Winfield, a longtime employee of MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center. When he learned he had prostate cancer, he decided CyberKnife was right for him. 

 

CyberKnife may be your best option if:

  • Your lesion or tumor is untreatable by surgery or other radiation modalities
  • You have previously undergone radiation treatments
  • You are elderly, frail or otherwise in compromised health

Benefits of CyberKnife

 Not only can CyberKnife target tumors that were previously considered unreachable or inoperable, the sophisticated system is a great advancement in patient ease and comfort, offering the following advantages: CyberKnife Patient SM

  • No pain — Because the procedure is a nonsurgical approach, there is no anesthesia, incision, blood loss or recovery time.
  • No head or body frame — Unlike other stereotactic radiosurgical techniques, the CyberKnife system uses the body’s bony structures or implanted markers to find its target (with or without Synchrony).
  • No overnight hospitalization — An outpatient treatment, CyberKnife usually allows you to return home the same day.
  • Faster and more accurate — Approaching its target from more than 1,400 angles, CyberKnife can deliver high doses of radiation to tumors while avoiding surrounding, healthy tissue.

Fewer Sessions with CyberKnife

CyberKnife seems to be as effective for certain localized prostate cancers as other radiation therapies and with fewer treatments. CyberKnife produces the desired effect in only five sessions, as compared to the approximately 40 sessions required by the three-dimensional conformal external beam treatment or, intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). The other alternative, internal radiation treatment brachytherapy (seed therapy), is administered in a single session, but gives off its radiation continuously for three months.

What Should I Expect from Treatment with CyberKnife?

  • CyberKnife treatment begins with the implantation in the prostate of four tiny gold fiducials that act as markers or targets for the system’s missile-like rays.
  • Afterward, a team of experienced physicians uses MRIs, CT scans and three-dimensional technology to pinpoint the exact size and location of the patient’s cancer to create a treatment plan.
  • A week or two later, the patient returns for five days of therapy over one to two weeks, with each treatment lasting about an hour.
  • Patients are usually able to resume their normal activities almost immediately.
  • Follow-up consists of regularly scheduled PSA (prostate-specific antigen) tests and monitoring.

Is CyberKnife Right for You?

From CyberKnife® to clinical trials to conventional therapies, MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center gives men with prostate cancer more options, including one that’s right for you. 

Location Information

For a physician referral for CyberKnife treatment, please call 855-546-0750.

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Cancer Institute
9103 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237

Radiation Oncologists

Learn more about our CyberKnife team at MedStar Franklin Square.

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