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Radiation Therapy

Hypofractionated radiation therapy: Complete your treatment in fewer sessions

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer that requires radiation therapy, you may be a candidate for an advanced technique that can reduce your treatment time by weeks.

Called hypofractionated radiation therapy, or hypofractionation, it delivers a higher dose of radiation per treatment session, so you can complete treatment in less time than with conventional radiation therapy—and just as safely and effectively.

And thanks to our pioneering collaboration with the world-renowned Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), this advanced treatment is available right here at Norwalk Hospital, conveniently close to home.

When you receive conventional radiation therapy, your total radiation dose is divided into smaller doses, called fractions, which are delivered in treatment sessions over several weeks.

With hypofractionation, the total radiation dose is divided into fewer, bigger fractions that are delivered over a shorter period of time. This approach is made possible by technology advances that enable us to focus the radiation beam with extreme precision, targeting the tumor while sparing nearby healthy tissue.

As a result, you can complete your treatment in fewer sessions over a shorter period of time—and get back to your life faster.

Hypofractionated radiation therapy has been shown to be effective in treating a range of different cancers. Here at Norwalk Hospital, we are using this advanced technology to treat patients with:

  • Breast cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Bone cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Lung cancer

In fact, because hypofractionation is so effective, a growing number of cancer centers like ours are adopting this short-course treatment as the standard of care for appropriate patients.

Hypofractionation delivers tremendous benefits for patients, including:

  • Convenience—You can complete a full course of treatment in fewer visits over a shorter period of time, so there are fewer trips to the cancer center, less disruption to your daily life, and you can resume your regular activities sooner
  • Effectiveness—Long-term studies show that hypofractionation can be even more effective than conventional radiation therapy in terms of survival rates, cosmetic appearance (less scar tissue) and long-term side effects for certain types of cancer, even though the course of treatment is shorter
  • Fewer short-term side effects—A major study showed that more than twice as many patients treated with conventional radiation therapy experienced short-term side effects such as skin irritation and fatigue as patients treated with hypofractionation
  • A better patient experience—A shorter course of treatment with fewer side effects adds up to a better patient experience and improved quality of life

Hypofractionated radiation therapy is becoming the standard of care for a growing number of patients with certain types of cancer. At Norwalk Hospital, our multidisciplinary team of cancer specialists—including MSK radiation oncology experts—meet regularly to discuss whether each patient who needs radiation therapy is a candidate for hypofractionation. Your wishes are carefully considered as part of the decision-making process. 

Memorial Sloan Kettering has been recognized for decades as a pioneer in treating cancer with radiation, and was one of the first institutions in the nation to use hypofractionated radiation therapy for treating breast and other types of cancer. Through the innovative MSK Physicians at Norwalk Hospital collaboration, this world-class expertise is available locally—for your convenience, peace of mind, and the best-possible outcome.

If you would like to learn more about hypofractionated radiation therapy, please contact us at 203-845-4811.