MD Anderson Cancer Center

Cancer Types


At MD Anderson - Orlando, we use the most advanced cancer-fighting technology in the nation to give hope to our patients - the most hope for survival. Read on to see how each of these cancer-combating tools allows our expert physicians to better test, treat, and heal our patients, and add hope.

Above: Justin Rineer, MD; Daniel Buchholz, MD, FACP; Naren R. Ramakrishna, MD, PhD; 
Rafael Manon, MD; Akash Nanda, MD, PhD; Tomas Dvorak, MD; Patrick Kelly, MD, PhD

Dr. Daniel Buchholz discusses Radiation Treatment

Novalis® Shaped Beam SurgeryTM

MD Anderson - Orlando offers Novalis Shaped Beam Surgery as a treatment option for cancers of the head, neck, and lungs. Shaped beam surgery is the non-invasive delivery of a precise dose of high-energy radiation to shrink or control the growth of a tumor by killing tumor cells or interfering with their ability to grow. Using detailed computer generated images as well as a highly accurate patient positioning system, the Novalis treatment exactly mirrors the shape and size of a patient's tumor. Each beam of radiation conforms to the tumor's exact dimensions, specifically targeting and, unlike conventional beam radiation, treating diseased tissue while leaving surrounding healthy tissue unharmed.

Novalis can be used for brain, head, neck, spine, liver, lung, and prostate tumors.

Helical Tomotherapy

Helical tomotherapy - the future of image-guided intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) - is the only radiation therapy device that combines a computed tomography (CT) scanner (for 3-D precision planning) with the ability to change the size, shape, location, and amount of radiation delivered in a single unit.

The radiation beam is shaped to a patient's specific needs as a tumor changes shape. That means the tumor receives a higher dose of radiation, while sparing or minimizing radiation to surrounding healthy tissue. In addition, if you have large or unevenly shaped tumors or many tumors, this system can treat them all at once.

Tomotherapy is used to treat head, neck, prostate, lung, and breast cancers.

SuperDimension Bronchus SystemTM

Based on electromagnetic technology, wireless tracking of a flexible catheter and virtual three-dimensional images, SuperDimension allows doctors to access areas deep within the lungs that were once considered out of reach of a pulmonologist's probe. This access allows doctors to precisely diagnose even the smallest abnormalities, and in turn, possibly identify lung cancer sooner in patients.

Adaptive Respiratory Gated Breathing

Patients suffering from tumors obstructed by respiratory movement can benefit from more precise IMRT treatment with BrainLAB's Adaptive Respiratory Gating system. MD Anderson - Orlando was one of the first sites in the United States to treat lung tumor patients using the technology, which enables physicians to target tumors by adjusting to the patient's breathing patterns within a few millimeters of accuracy.

The technology overcomes treatment limitations caused by breathing-induced tumor motion in three steps. First, the gating system synchronizes tumor motion with a patient's breathing pattern by taking multiple pictures of the tumor inside the lung. From the images, the three-dimensional movement of the tumor is captured and its exact location for treatment delivery is calculated. Finally, the technology delivers radiation only when the tumor is exactly in the path of the treatment beam. If the tumor moves out of the treatment beam, radiation is automatically interrupted to protect a patient's healthy tissue.

For patients with lung and liver tumors, this means more effective treatment and fewer complications from side effects like fatigue and shortness of breath.

GliaSite® Radiation Therapy

This procedure accelerates treatment time and results in fewer serious side effects. Internal radiation therapy for brain tumors (also known as brachytherapy, localized radiation, or implant radiation) involves removing the tumor and then placing a source of radiation directly into the space the tumor occupied. The major benefit of internal radiation is that a high dose of radiation may be delivered directly to the tumor site. The radiation is targeted in the area most likely to contain cancerous cells. At the same time, healthy tissue around the tumor is less likely to be damaged by radiation.

GliaSite radiation therapy requires a surgical procedure. Typically, at the time of surgery, a neurosurgeon positions the balloon portion of a GliaSite catheter within the cavity created by removing the malignant brain tumor. The other end of the catheter extends outside the skull and is concealed underneath the skin at the top of the head. When the patient has recovered from surgery, Iotrex, a proprietary liquid radiation source, is injected into the catheter and fills the balloon. After delivering a specific dose of radiation over a period of three to seven days, the Iotrex is withdrawn and the balloon catheter is removed during a brief surgical procedure.


MammoSite is a type of partial breast irradiation for women with small and early stage breast tumors. By delivering radiation from inside the body and targeting the area where tumors are most likely to recur, radiation exposure is minimized to healthy tissue, which means fewer side effects to the breast, skin, heart, and lungs.

The treatment begins with a lumpectomy. During the operation, a surgeon positions the balloon portion of a MammoSite catheter within the cavity created by removing the malignant breast tumor. The other end of the catheter extends outside the breast.

During twice-daily, 15-minute treatments, a radioactive metal seed about the size of a grain of rice is injected into the catheter, which is attached by a cable to radiation equipment. After the seed delivers radiation to the affected area, it is removed at the end of each session, allowing patients to return home between treatments. Once complete, the catheter is removed.