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NMMC Radiation Oncology

990 S. Madison St.
First Floor
Tupelo, MS
(662) 377-4077

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Treatments & Technology

Radiation therapy is often recommended after surgery to increase the effectiveness of treatment. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are often given after surgery to increase the likelihood of a cure. At NMMC, physicians, including surgeons, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists, work together to develop the best course of treatment for each patient.

Radiation oncologists use high-energy radiation to destroy cancer cells. External beam radiation therapy uses radiation delivered from outside the body that is focused on the cancer. Patients do not actually feel radiation treatments.

Cutting-Edge Technology

Stereotactic Radiosurgery

NMMC Cancer Care uses stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for the treatment of some brain tumors. Traditionally, brain tumors have been treated using whole-brain radiation.

"Stereotactic radiosurgery means we can achieve higher control rates and fewer side effects," said radiation oncologist Benjamin Hinton, M.D. "We can give a much higher dose of radiation to a much smaller area, sparing healthy brain tissue."

This outpatient treatment option uses the traditional linear accelerator with additional technology. SRS is a non-surgical radiation therapy that delivers precisely-targeted radiation in fewer high-dose treatments.
Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is also an option for some lung and liver cancers. "With SBRT, it is now possible to safely treat these patients who might not have had many options before,” Dr. Hinton said. “SRS and SBRT are important alternatives to invasive surgery, especially for patients who are unable to undergo surgery."


NMMC on the Forefront of Cancer Treatment with TrueBeam


NMMC Cancer Care uses the TrueBeam system, an innovative system that enables our physicians to treat even challenging cases with speed and precision.


With dose delivery rates that are 40-140 percent higher than earlier generations of Varian technology, the TrueBeam system can complete a treatment commensurately faster. This makes it possible to offer greater patient comfort by shortening treatments, and to improve precision by leaving less time for tumor motion during dose delivery. “Intelligent” automation further speeds treatments with an up to fivefold reduction in the number of steps needed for image guidance and dose delivery.


Simple treatments that once took 15 minutes or more can be completed in less than two once the patient is in position. “These are significant reductions in treatment time,” said Dr. Reed. “Patients will spend a whole lot less time lying still, immobilized on a hard surface.”




NMMC was the first in Mississippi to offer treatment using RapidArc™ radiotherapy technology from Varian Medical Systems. RapidArc is a fast, precise form of treatment that is delivered eight times faster than is possible with conventional radiation therapy technologies. By delivering radiation doses more quickly and with great accuracy, NMMC clinicians can simultaneously improve the quality of care while making patients more comfortable.


Image-Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT)


Physicians at NMMC use image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) treatment for cancer patients that offers advanced imaging to more precisely locate tumors at the moment of treatment.

This technology from Varian Medical Systems combines imaging and treatment on one machine, providing fast and accurate adaptive radiotherapy treatments that deliver high doses of radiation directly to cancer cells while minimizing the dose to surrounding healthy tissues. Radiation oncologists have previously had to deal with variations in patient position and target motion by including a margin of healthy tissue around the tumor to account for variation in daily positioning.

Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)

This radiotherapy system, which includes two linear accelerators, is capable of delivering IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy).

NMMC’s clinicians use the SmartBeam® IMRT system from Varian Medical Systems to treat patients with certain types of cancer with precisely placed beams that can be focused to carefully target tumor cells. The enhanced doses increase the likelihood that a tumor will be completely eradicated. Also, the technology enables clinicians to use radiation to treat areas that would have been considered too risky just a few years ago.