Why choose Vanderbilt?
We are national leaders advancing cancer care...
Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Department of Radiation Oncology is dedicated to delivering world class personalized care to our patients.
Our physicians are nationally recognized experts in your specific type of cancer and utilize state of the art equipment to deliver the most precise treatments possible.
We are national leaders in cancer care.
VICC is one of 27 NCCN Cancer Centers and one of 49 NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers. We have expert physicians, superior treatment, and quality and safety initiatives that continuously improve the effectiveness and efficiency of cancer care.
We are committed to advancing cancer care.
Our physicians have multiple clinical trials studying ways to improve treatments. We also have physics and scientific teams pursuing cutting edge ways to improve the effectiveness of radiation and decrease side effects.
We are devoted to training future leaders in radiation oncology.
The majority of our medical program and physics residency program trainees go on to be faculty at prominent cancer centers nationally.
We have convenient and cutting edge treatments...
We save you time.
Many of our treatments can use cutting edge technology to reduce treatment times from almost 2 months to as low as 1 day or 1 week. Precise treatment planning and delivery let us do this safely, without increasing side effects.
We provide state-of-the-art clinical care.
Some of our strategies include utilizing image guided radiotherapy (IGRT), placement of SpaceOAR to reduce side effects for prostate radiosurgery, and deep inspiratory breath hold (DIBH) techniques for left sided breast cancer to reduce cardiotoxicity.
We operate in 5 convenient locations in Middle Tennessee.
Our clinics are established in Nashville, Clarksville, Franklin, Spring Hill, and Lebanon. See our Contact us page for more details.
We can help you find a place to stay during treatments.
Many of our patients who come from far away are able to stay at the American Cancer Society's Hope Lodge in Nashville for free with their caregiver. They provide private rooms, daily shuttles to the hospital, and frequently provide dinners from local restaurants. Patients and their caregivers can also meet other patients currently undergoing cancer treatments and form meaningful relationships that last for a lifetime.
We are with you every step of the way...
We provide personalized education for each patient at the start of their treatment journey.
Our Physician Assistant meets individually with patients to review their treatment plan and to discuss the potential side effects and management for these at the start of radiation treatment. This conversation is helpful for planning purposes and to ensure that the appropriate measures are taken to minimize the burden of side effects during treatment.
We continue to care for our patients’ cancer-related needs beyond the completion of their treatment.
Patients who have recently completed radiotherapy can schedule a visit in our survivorship clinic 90-120 days following the completion of their treatment. This visit will address the challenges facing post-treatment survivors, including coping with late effects, managing fear of recurrence, making lifestyle changes, and many other topics. This comprehensive visit will serve to address the physical, emotional and practical concerns of our patients on an annual basis or more frequently if needed. Patients in this clinic will receive a Treatment Summary and Survivorship Care Plan that includes a summary of their cancer-related care in addition to guidelines for monitoring and maintaining their health. Patients who are farther out from the completion of their radiation therapy or who completed this treatment elsewhere and are interested in survivorship care may also schedule an appointment to be seen in this clinic.
- You (the patient) -- we are all working together with you to give you the best quality of cancer care
- Your family, friends, and caregivers -- they can be an integral part of your team, providing emotional, physical, and social support
- Your radiation oncologist -- all of our attending radiation oncologists are board certified or eligible. They are experts in disease specific sites.
- Often, a resident in radiation oncology -- these young doctors have completed medical school and general medical training. They are now training under our attendings for a total of 4 years.
- Nurses -- our nurses will take your vital signs and intake at your consultation, on treatment visits (weekly during treatments), and follow up appointments
- Radiation technologists (aka Therapists) -- therapists will help you with the treatment planning CT simulation session in our department. Therapists will also help you get positioned on the radiation treatment table and facilitate radiation treatments each day.
- Physicians Assistant -- she provides personal patient education visits before starting treatment to answer any questions you've thought of after your first visit.
- Available as needed:
- Nurse Practitioner who has received specialized training in symptom management of cancer patients
- Clinical trial coordinator
- Social worker specializing in care of cancer patients
- Dietician specializing in care of cancer patients
- Psychiatry nurse specializing in care of cancer patients
- All of the other departments and resources of VUMC
- Behind the scenes:
- Medical physicists -- physicists help keep our radiation treatment machines running smoothly. They perform daily and periodic quality assurances (QA) to make sure that all of our technology is working correctly.
- Dosimetrists -- dosimetrists help design the radiation treatment plan. They use sophisticated computer software with 3-D modeling and complicated algorithms to design the optimal treatment customized for each patient.