The Science Behind Your Radiation Oncology Treatment

Following The Science To Leading Edge Treatment

At Astera, we’re dedicated to providing the most effective cancer treatments using the latest leading edge technologies. Learn more about our innovative techniques for achieving success with better outcomes for our patients.

Brainlab Precision-Targets Tumors

At Astera, we use Brainlab-based stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) to treat brain cancer in a single session. It’s a safe, high-tech and non-invasive method of delivering a high dose of radiation to a tumor. Brainlab technology helps enhance our precision in targeting tumors, while minimizing side effects.

 Before SRS, we perform a special MRI scan. Then we combine these MRI images with CT images using our Brainlab technology. These scans, and the fusion process involved, enable us to accurately visualize the tumor, which is key to the precision of the treatment plan created by your radiation oncologist, neurosurgeon, and physicist. Astera SRS does not require hospital admission, and most of our patients return home the same day.

Our doctors have collectively treated thousands of patients using SRS, and our radiation oncologists were among the first in the region to begin using Brainlab technology.

SpaceOar Hydrogel Protects What Matters

We treat prostate cancer by delivering a dose of radiation to the prostate to destroy tumor cells without adversely affecting you. To achieve the best outcomes, we use newly FDA-approved SpaceOAR Hydrogel to reduce radiation exposure to the nearby rectum in order to decrease side effects.

Injecting SpaceOAR Hydrogel between the prostate and the rectum pushes the rectum out of the way during treatment, resulting in much less radiation being delivered to healthy tissue. Using this innovative technique can significantly improve your daily quality of life, as bowel function is much less likely to be affected by scar tissue or ulceration.

Astera Cancer Care is the first in New Jersey to offer prostate cancer treatment using SpaceOAR Hydrogel.

Astera Proton Therapy Maximizes Control

Currently available at only a handful of cancer treatment centers in the United States, proton therapy empowers Astera doctors with better control to target cancer cells while minimizing exposure to vital organs.

At high energy, protons can destroy cancer cells. Using proton therapy, Astera Radiation Oncologists can control the depth to which the protons penetrate into the body, allowing us to focus the radiation beam on the tumor target. Unlike X-ray radiation, the proton beam only penetrates to the target and doesn’t expose healthy tissue to radiation as it exits the body, which minimizes the risk of side effects.

To date, Astera Radiation Oncologists have collectively treated thousands of patients and have more than 40 years of collective firsthand proton therapy experience. As leaders in this cancer treatment modality, our radiation oncologists also participate in clinical research on proton therapy.

Prostate Seed Implantation. Pioneered Right Here.

At Astera, we use Prostate Seed Implantation as a minimally invasive option to treat prostate cancer. Our radiation oncologists place radioactive seeds in the prostate gland to target cancer cells while maximizing the preservation of healthy tissue. It’s an outpatient procedure that requires general anesthesia, and only takes a few hours. Most patients return to normal activities within 2–3 days.

We perform a transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) by placing a transducer in the rectum to obtain images of the prostate gland. Once the prostate is visualized, the radiation oncologist works with radiation physicists to determine precisely where the seeds should be placed. Using a treatment-planning computer, we generate a series of “dose maps” called isodose curves. We “peripherally load” the seeds to minimize the radiation dose to the urethra, reducing the risk of urinary side effects.

Our doctors operate while the patient is under general or spinal anesthesia. Using transrectal ultrasound guidance, we implant radioactive seeds into the prostate through the perineum. Fluoroscopy confirms accurate seed placement. After the procedure, the patient is monitored for several hours. Typically, we discharge patients to go home on the same day.

At Astera, we’re among the most experienced anywhere and have been instrumental in pioneering this treatment option since 1997.