Department of Radiation Oncology
The Department Today
The Department Today
The facilities of Jefferson’s Department of Radiation Oncology, known as the Bodine Center for Cancer Treatment, were completed in 1987 and occupy three contiguous levels of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, totaling 57,000 square feet.
The center incorporates facilities for patient reception, examination, care, follow-up, and other services. In a single, distinct, purpose-built facility, it also includes an IV Infusion Center, administrative and physicians’ offices, a computer center, a physics laboratory, a library, a large conference room for meetings and seminars, and several research laboratories. Located on the center’s patient-care level are four double-energy linear accelerators, with two of them equipped with cone-beam CT capabilities for image guided adaptive radiation therapy. In addition, there are two simulators (one CT simulator), an intraoperative suite, a computerized-treatment planning center, as well as support functions such as the machine shop, mold room, and electronics shop.
The department cares for more than 2,000 new cancer patients per year, of whom approximately 1,000 receive radiation treatments. The center has combined clinics for head & neck cancer, lung cancer, genitourinary malignancies, and central nervous system (CNS) tumors. The staff has performed many thousands of special treatments with implants, intracavitary applications, and intraoperative procedures over the past four decades.
The department has also formed a joint program with Jefferson’s Department of Neurosurgery, a key feature of which is the radiosurgery unit. The program has one of the few dedicated stereotactic linear accelerators (LINACs) for neuroncology in the country and a Gamma knife unit. These multimillion-dollar, photon technologies significantly improve the options available to patients with tumors of the brain and spinal cord.
The department’s other centers include the Jefferson Radiation Oncology Center at Riddle, which offers top cancer specialists and the latest oncologic treatments and equipment to patients living in the communities of Chester and Delaware Counties. Jefferson also has centers at Aria Health (formerly Frankford-Torresdale Hospital) in Northeastern Philadelphia, where residents rotate twice during their training, and the Radiation Oncology Pavilion at Methodist Hospital, which serves South Philadelphia.
Clinical staff in the department include ten radiation oncologists. The medical physics division is composed of PhD and MS physicists, postdoctoral candidates in physics, computer scientists, and mechanical/electronic engineers and technologists. The department also has six dosimetrists.
The technical staff in the treatment area includes a chief radiation therapist, two assistant-chief radiation therapists, 13 radiation therapists, a clinical supervisor, and two simulator and CT technologists.
Jefferson’s Radiation Safety Office helps ensure that the department meets all guidelines for radiation safety. The department’s Laboratory of Experimental Radiation Oncology conducts basic radiobiological and oncologic research.
The department employs social workers, who assists patients and families and address their questions and concerns regarding treatment and prognosis. The social workers oversee the patient support groups. Available for consult from Jefferson’s Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior is a staff psychiatrist (psycho-oncologist) specializing in counseling for cancer patients.
Oncology nurses are an indispensable part of the oncology team and participate closely in all aspects of patient care, collaborating with the staff and resident physicians.
Clerical and secretarial supervisors help in routing consults and requests for information from other hospitals. Staff physician secretaries, receptionists, file room personnel, accounting clerk, billing manager, and other administrative staff contribute to a well functioning department.