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Asal Rahimi, M.D. Answers Questions On Radiation Therapy

Asal Rahimi, M.D. Answers Questions On: Radiation Therapy

What’s the top thing cancer patients should know about UT Southwestern?

With a university-based setting, your care is handled with a group approach across multiple disciplines. The communication amongst your care team and physicians – radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, etc. – is excellent.

Are you involved in clinical trials for breast cancer patients? Which ones?

We have multiple clinical trials open, through the RTOG and ECOG, as well as investigator-initiated trials. One I’m involved with is looking at partial breast irradiation that is less invasive than the balloon catheter partial breast irradiation that most people have heard about. Patients can get the less invasive option in five treatments over two weeks versus with partial breast irradiation with the balloon they are treated twice a day for five days. This trial is unique to our breast program.

Are you excited about the arrival of the Gamma Pod in the coming months? What will it do?

The Gamma Pod is similar to the Gamma Knife in that it essentially will be a platform for stereotactic radiation, which is giving a high dose of radiation and condensing the 6.5 weeks of treatment into between one and five treatments. The Gamma Pod will give us a platform to immobilize the breast in a way we normally wouldn’t be able to using conventional radiation. This will allow us to deliver highly targeted doses of radiation to the breast tumor.