Total Body Irradiation Program

Total body irradiation (TBI) is a radiation therapy procedure used as part of treatment for patients with lymphoma, leukemia or myeloma. TBI is designed to prepare your child for a stem cell or bone marrow transplant. As the name suggests, irradiation of the entire body is performed using high-energy rays, which are comparable to X-rays. The lungs often are shielded to help decrease the risk of a radiation-related lung injury.

How total body irradiation works

TBI sessions are carefully scheduled in order to help kill cancer cells in the bone marrow. When used before a transplant using donor stem cells, TBI also suppresses the immune system. This helps to prevent rejection of the donor stem cells. Additionally, high doses of TBI can help destroy lingering cancer cells in a transplant recipient, increasing the likelihood that the transplant will be successful.

TBI is performed twice per day for three consecutive days with at least six hours between daily treatments.

Total body irradiation at Norton Children’s Cancer Institute

The total body irradiation team at Norton Children’s Cancer Institute, affiliated with the University of Louisville, includes a dedicated radiation oncologist, physicist, dosimetrist, radiation therapist and nurse, who will work with your child to ensure he or she receives the best possible care.

Meet the team

Aaron C. Spalding, M.D., Ph.D., radiation oncologist and medical director

Julie Baker, radiation therapist

Carrie S. Betz, R.N., radiation oncology nurse

Elizabeth Miller, radiation oncology medical physicist

Wendel K. Parker, radiation oncology manager

Vicki S. Thieneman, R.N., radiation oncology nurse manager

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