Radiation Oncology - Main Campus
111 Colchester Avenue
Main Campus, Garden Pavilion, Level 2
Burlington, VT 05401-1473
Radiation oncology at the UVM Medical Center
Comprehensive cancer care often includes radiation therapy. This treatment uses concentrated energy to destroy cancer cells and lower the likelihood of recurrence. At The University of Vermont Medical Center, you are in the skilled hands of a nationally recognized radiation oncology team.
As a patient of the UVM Medical Center, you have access to leading-edge radiation oncology technologies and expertise without having to travel far. We consider your personal preferences and all of your medical needs, so you feel cared for at every step.
As one of the leading cancer programs in the region, we offer:
- National accreditation: The UVM Medical Center maintains accreditation from the American College of Radiology for radiation oncology excellence. This distinction is only awarded to top programs that consistently deliver safe, high-quality care. You can count on us for expert care, precise therapies and accurate delivery of treatment.
- Innovative treatments: As an academic medical center, our physicians are active researchers, many of whom train the next generation of experts. Our physician-leaders research new techniques for providing effective care in less time and offer access to the latest radiation therapy technologies. We are the first program in Vermont offering intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), which tailors radiation beams to the tumor’s exact shape.
- Coordinated care: Our team of radiation oncologists work closely with surgeons, medical oncologists and other specialists to personalize your care. They will help determine whether radiation therapy is right for you, whether it should be combined with another treatment, and at what point in your treatment it might offer the greatest benefit.
Benefits of radiation oncology care at the UVM Medical Center
Team approach to radiation oncology
Our experienced team works together to deliver coordinated, seamless care that meets your unique needs. You benefit from the expertise of:
- Radiation oncologists, who specialize in specific cancers, including ones affecting the breasts, brain and gastrointestinal and genitourinary systems
- Medical physicists who ensure accurate delivery of your prescribed treatment plan
- Dosimetrists who calculate the appropriate radiation dose for your needs
- Radiation therapists who position you on a special table in the treatment room and talk you through each step of your care
- Nurses, all of whom are oncology certified (OCN)
- Support staff, who handle billing and scheduling and work to make your experience as streamlined as possible
We use special techniques to protect organs from unnecessary radiation exposure.
Care for gynecologic and prostate cancers may involve brachytherapy. This method uses tiny metal seeds to deliver high-dose radiation directly to the cancer without affecting nearby organs. For prostate therapy, we also offer other forms of brachytherapy, such as high-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy and prostate seed therapy, as well as fiducial marker placement (in which small gold seeds are used to mark the tumor before treatment).
For breast and lung cancer, treatments may also involve respiratory gating, or deep inspiration breath hold, a technique in which external monitors are used to track breathing and deliver radiation after a patient has taken a full breath. This approach is used to protect the heart. We also perform a CT scan that enables our team to simulate lung cancer treatments and create a treatment plan that will minimize radiation to healthy areas.
Access to the latest methods
We use the latest research-based methods for care that’s gentler on your body, including the use of radiation as an alternative to surgery.
Our cancer experts are also exploring new opportunities for enhancing treatment outcomes with radiation oncology. In recurring cancers like glioblastoma (brain tumor), we are evaluating whether radiation in combination with immunotherapy is effective.
Our team uses leading techniques to deliver effective radiation therapy in less time. These efforts help you feel better faster so that you can get back to your daily life. We are the only program in Vermont that offers brachytherapy treatment for prostate cancer in one day.
For rectal tumors (gastrointestinal cancer), we offer a clinical trial looking at the effectiveness of a short course of radiation therapy plus chemotherapy compared with traditional radiation therapy. This approach reduces treatment time from about six weeks to one week.
We understand that cancer treatment can be stressful. Our cancer care team includes social workers to provide emotional support and help you navigate common issues, like changes in insurance. Additional supportive care services include nutrition counseling, social work, massage therapy, mental health support, support groups and cancer rehabilitation to help you feel better, physically and emotionally.
What to expect
The UVM Medical Center radiation oncology facilities are designed with your needs in mind. You receive treatments in a comfortable, friendly environment.
Our nurses, therapists and front desk staff take extra steps to help you feel welcome and cared for during treatment sessions. Our patients often tell us they feel supported and listened to, and that treatments went as smoothly as possible.
When you arrive for your radiation treatment, you will be escorted to a private changing room. After changing into a hospital gown, your radiation therapist will bring you to a treatment room and position you on a table. They will take painless X-ray images to make sure you are positioned correctly for treatment.
Radiation comes from a machine called a linear accelerator, or LINAC, that will be placed near your body and then rotate around you. The machine is designed to give the exact dose of radiation to the area of your body that needs to be treated. You will receive the same treatment dose at every visit, unless informed otherwise.
Once you have been positioned under the LINAC, the therapists will leave the room. However, they will still be able to see and communicate with you through cameras and an intercom. Each treatment typically takes 15-30 minutes, although your first appointment will be longer.
When treatment is finished, your therapist will come back into the room to help you off the table, and escort you back to the changing room. They will provide you with your treatment dates and times, review your upcoming appointments, and make scheduling adjustments as needed.
Watch our welcome video!
Join us as we walk you through your first radiation therapy treatment in Radiation Oncology, at the University of Vermont Medical Center, and get a glimpse of the treatment room and equipment.
Radiation Oncology at The University of Vermont Medical Center is staffed by highly-skilled specialists who also teach and conduct research. Because we are a university hospital, we offer a setting that combines education, training and the latest advancements in technology. This allows our physicians to educate others and conduct vital research, which fuels better care for our patients.
Learn more about our clinical research and academic missions below.
How to refer a patient to Radiation Oncology at The UVM Medical Center:
- Call (toll free): 888-362-3242
- Fax Referral Line: 802-847-2001
- Email: ReferralCenteruvmhealth [dot] org. Note: please send encrypted files.
For information on the Office of Provider Relations, Provider Access Services and Patient Placement Services, visit Patient Referral Resources.
Fellowship and Residency Programs - The UVM Medical Center offers post-medical degree training programs in over 17 service lines. Learn about our Hematology/Medical Oncology Fellowship.
Continuing Medical Education (CME) – Our CME program offers a series of medical courses for health care professionals to learn about new and developing areas of their fields. Visit CME.
Grand Rounds - Grand Rounds present current medical topics and developments. They are sponsored by individual departments on a regular basis.
The Division of Hematology/Oncology at the UVM Medical Center encompasses a broad spectrum of research trials that offer our patients access to cutting-edge treatments. Our research includes translational research, epidemiology, clinical research and public health research.
For research information, visit the Department of Medicine Division of Hematology/Oncology or go to the Office of Clinical Trials Research to receive up-to-date information on the latest clinical trials.