Skip to Content

Radiation Oncology for Gynecologic Cancer

UPMC Content 2

Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy x-rays to kill cancer cells.

Radiation may be used alone or with other treatments to effectively treat gynecologic cancers.

Treating Gynecologic Cancer With Radiation

Radiation oncologists at the Magee-Womens Gynecologic Cancer Program use a wide variety of radiation delivery systems, tailored to each woman, to treat gynecologic cancers:

  • 3D conformal radiation
  • Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT)
  • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
  • High-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy

Targeting Gynecologic Tumors With Imaging Technology

We also use advanced imaging prior to and during treatment to precisely target your tumor and help to spare healthy tissue.


We use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerized tomography (CT) scans for placing radioactive seeds:

  • Into the cavity (intravacitary brachytherapy)
  • Onto the tumor (interstitial brachytherapy)

Types of gynecologic cancers we treat with brachytherapy include:

Additional imaging technologies for targeting gynecologic tumors may include:

  • CT simulation: used prior to receiving radiation to ensure you're in the best position to effectively target your tumor.
  • PET scan: shows the rate your body breaks down sugar to help determine any abnormal cell activity.
  • PET-CT scan: combines PET and CT technologies to assist radiologists in pinpointing the location of cancerous tissue, so a biopsy can be performed.
  • Respiratory gating: a tracking device “watches” the tumor’s position and briefly shuts off the treatment machine when the tumor moves beyond a certain point, due to breathing or other involuntary movements.

The Radiation Oncology Treatment Team

Your comprehensive team of experts at the Gynecologic Cancer Program includes:

  • Radiation oncologists
  • Radiation therapists
  • Medical physicist
  • Dosimetrist
  • Nurses
  • Physician’s assistant
  • Social workers

We work closely with colleagues in surgical oncology (gynecologic cancer surgery) to create a multidisciplinary approach to treating gynecologic cancers.

Some of our experts are also researching strategies for treating gynecologic cancers using radiation therapy.