U-M Radiation Oncology’s partnerships bring radiation therapy closer to home

radiation therapyRadiation therapy is often a treatment option for those diagnosed with cancer. Traveling to receive radiation treatment five times a week for six to eight weeks is not always easy or feasible for some patients. Luckily, the University of Michigan’s Radiation Oncology Department has collaborated with community hospitals to help provide this type of treatment closer to home.

The Radiation Oncology Network is a group of seven centers in Michigan that partner with the U-M Radiation Oncology Department to create a network of facilities that allows patients to receive state-of-the-art radiation therapy locally. All physicians at these sites are U-M faculty members. Treatment is provided by a dedicated staff under their direction using the latest equipment and techniques, which also includes access to the most current research protocols, or practices.

Centers are located in Alpena, Ann Arbor, Novi, Southfield, Jackson, Lansing, and Wyoming. Having locations statewide enables us to bring breakthrough cancer treatments to patients as conveniently as possible – minimizing the time and discomfort commonly associated with traveling long distances for care.

 Are the radiation oncologists at the other hospitals University of Michigan doctors?

Yes, each center is co-managed by the U-M and staffed by U-M physicians.

Am I correct in assuming that my radiation oncologist is communicating with experts at U-M about my case?

We work together even when miles apart by using state-of-the-art telemedicine and teleconferencing tools to evaluate a patient at one partner center and perform radiation treatment planning at a different center. The physicians at each center are U-M faculty and part of the U-M Radiation Oncology Department. In addition, every treatment of every patient who receives care at a community practice is also reviewed by a U-M radiation oncologist. This is the same level of quality assurance that is utilized when patients are treated in Ann Arbor.

Do the other centers have the best equipment to treat my cancer?

Yes. The Network offers:

  • CT simulators and Varian linear accelerators
  • Innovative, cutting-edge technologies such as on-board imaging, daily patient positioning and active breathing control
  • The most current clinical protocols in radiotherapy
  • A qualified and compassionate staff of board-certified radiation oncologists, nurses, radiation therapists and dosimetrists.

I was seen at the U-M Cancer Center for a second opinion, but decided to get my radiation treatment at a cancer center in our area. I’m having some side effects that have caused my doctor to alter the plan and would like to know if U-M doctors agree with these changes or have other suggestions?

Patients who receive radiation therapy may experience side effects such as fatigue, skin changes and mouth or throat problems. Our radiation oncologists keep a very close interaction with the radiation oncologists in our affiliate network. If you experience side effects from radiation therapy, the affiliate doctors have experience with these patient situations and are in communication with the U-M physicians.

Take the next step:

  • Find out more about radiation oncology, what it is and how it is used, from the University of Michigan.
  • Learn more about what kinds of experts make up our U-M radiation oncology treatment specialists.
  • Still have questions? Call the nurses at the University of Michigan Cancer AnswerLine™. They can help patients or their loved ones find a clinical trial or provide insights into the newest and latest cancer treatments. Feel free to call at 1-800-865-1125 or send an email.

2013 annette 1The Cancer AnswerLine™ nurses are experienced in oncology care, including helping patients and their families who have questions about cancer. These registered oncology nurses are available by calling 800-865-1125 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Your call is always free and confidential.



University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer CenterThe University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center’s 1,000 doctors, nurses, care givers and researchers are united by one thought: to deliver the highest quality, compassionate care while working to conquer cancer through innovation and collaboration. The center is among the top-ranked national cancer programs, and #1 in Michigan according to U.S. News & World Report. Our multidisciplinary clinics offer one-stop access to teams of specialists for personalized treatment plans, part of the ideal patient care experience. Patients also benefit through access to promising new cancer therapies.