Physician Profile: Neal Goldberg, radiation oncology

April 19, 2016

Dr. Neal Goldberg has been practicing in the field of radiation oncology since 1984, and in that time he has seen enormous changes in the way radiation is used to attack cancerous tumors.

Neal Goldberg“I would say there really has been a revolution, especially in how the latest technology can help reduce or even eliminate side effects and complications,” said Dr. Goldberg, medical director of radiation oncology at the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute at The Hospital of Central Connecticut, the one-year-old full-service cancer center located in New Britain near the Plainville town line. “Back when I started, it was not uncommon to see patients reacting poorly to even small doses of radiation because we did not have the capability to target the radiation exclusively on the tumor. You just don’t see that kind of reaction as much anymore. People have a much better experience overall.”

Dr. Goldberg said cancer treatment centers across the country are using much more advanced radiation equipment these days, often on an outpatient basis that means patients do not have to stay overnight in a hospital. Still, he said, the majority of them require patients to travel from one facility to the next to receive the full course of treatment they need, especially if their care requires radiation plus some other form of treatment such as chemotherapy.

At the new cancer center in New Britain, located at 183 N. Mountain Road, patients who require a varied course of treatment can get all the services they need under one roof. The center boasts a range of state-of-the-art radiation services that offer patients the best possible results with fewer or no side effects, including:

  • A Truebeam linear accelerator, a leading-edge radiation machine that allows doctors to effectively aim the radiation beam at tumors in ways that previously were not possible without impacting healthy surrounding tissue. “The Truebeam is the best technology you will find today,” said Dr. Goldberg. “It allows for very precise imaging and on-board CT scans, which allows us to get a much quicker read and means the treatment for patients is much shorter.”
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery. This new procedure allows doctors to attack tumors with high doses at extremely precise levels for patients with early stage lung cancer or cancers of the brain. The technology also uses Exac Trac software to target very small tumors that previously would have required surgery.
  • Program for the use of radioactive pharmaceuticals which are injected in carefully measured levels and are designed to attack lymphomas and prostate cancers. “This is a relatively quick procedure that does not pose any discomfort for the patient,” Dr. Goldberg said.
  • Brachytherapy, a technology meant for patients with early-stage breast cancer or gynecologic cancer that attacks tumors with a form of implant that releases precise doses of radiation over a short period of time, reducing the number of treatments.

For more information on radiation services at the new cancer center, please call CANCER CONNECT at 855.255.6181.