Our Cancer Care Specialists
- Medical School: Morehouse School of Medicine/Medical College of Georgia
- Residency: Internal Medicine Residency – Medical College of Virginia Radiation Oncology Residency – Emory University Chief Resident, Radiation Oncology – Emory University
- Board Certification: American Board of Radiology - Board Certified in Radiation Oncology
James Benton, MD is board certified as a Radiation Oncologist by the American Board of Radiology, and he believes in providing quality, personalized cancer care in a community setting, and demonstrates that commitment daily in his patient care activities.
A Magna Cum Laude graduate of Armstrong State University in Savannah, Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Math, Dr. Benton attended Morehouse School of Medicine, where he completed his medical degree and graduated as the Valedictorian of his class. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the Medical College of Virginia, and a second residency in Radiation Oncology at Emory University, where is was the Chief Resident.
Dr. Benton’s love of math, physics and science led him to radiation oncology, a specialty he admires for the depth of its technical detail and the breadth of its clinical application. Prior to joining the staff at Radiotherapy Clinics of Georgia in 1998, Dr. Benton served as Chief Resident and Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology at Emory University. Dr. Benton is a life-time member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. This distinction is given out to only 5% of medical school graduates throughout the United States, and Dr. Benton has been named Atlanta’s Top Doc for numerous years.
Dr. Benton practiced as a board-certified Internist for a few years before becoming a board-certified Radiation Oncologist more than 22 years ago. Currently, he is President of Radiotherapy Clinics of Georgia (RCOG), and he practices at RCOG’s main campus in Decatur and Conyers, specializing in treating a variety of cancers such as breast, prostate, gastrointestinal, lung, skin, and many others. Along with other experts in the field of prostate cancer treatment, Dr. Benton has authored numerous medical research manuscripts, and his work has been published in numerous peer review journals.
Dr. Benton is married with three children. He is an avid reader of history and enjoys sports.
Our Cancer Care Technologies
Brachytherapy, also known as internal radiation therapy, is a form of radiation therapy where a temporary or permanent radioactive implant is placed inside the patient. This makes it possible to place a higher dose of radiation near the tumor, while reducing radiation exposure to other parts of the body. The radiation is delivered either by needles inserted into the tissue, or by a special applicator placed into a body cavity near the tumor. Special applicators could include tubes, capsules, or balloon-like material. Depending on the type of cancer and treatment, the implants can be left in place anywhere from a few minutes to a few months.
Cone Beam CT
Cone Beam CT is typically used to map the tumor in the oral cavity, or to check for dental decay or periodontal disease that must be addressed before the start of radiation treatment. The machine produces a cone-shaped x-ray beam that is rotated around the head to produce three-dimensional images of the patient’s teeth, bones, nerve pathways, and soft tissues. A cone beam CT is not the same as a conventional CT, but the images produced are very similar.
CT Scanning & Simulation
Computer Tomography (CT) Scanning & Simulation allows the cancer specialists to design a treatment plan specifically for the patient based on the size, location, and shape of the tumor. The patient will have three-dimensional images (CT Scans) taken. These are used with the treatment planning software that helps determine how to best deliver the radiation beams while reducing damage to surrounding areas. In some cases, it may be necessary to mark the patient’s skin with a tiny marker so that the patient is perfectly realigned in the correct position for every session of radiation therapy. The need for a temporary or permanent marker will be discussed with the patient before the simulation.
Eclipse Treatment Planning System
Eclipse™ is a comprehensive three-dimensional treatment planning system that creates complex arrangement of beam positions and intensities that are then programmed into the equipment that delivers external radiation therapy treatments including proton, electron, external beam, low-dose-rate brachytherapy, and cobalt therapy. Cancer specialists use this software, combined with a patient’s CT, MRI or PET images, to create either an external or internal radiation treatment plan. This allows them to choose the best possible dose delivery, maximizing the dose delivered to the tumor, and minimizing the dose delivered to the surrounding normal tissue.
High Dose Rate Brachytherapy (HDR)
High-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy delivers high-doses of radiation to the tumor area from within the body or on the surface of the skin. It is administered through an applicator tube or thin catheter that is inserted into the body or through an applicator that sits on top of the skin.
This process delivers radiation for several minutes to the specific area where the cancer is located, sparing surrounding tissue. The radiation is removed from the body, unlike low-dose brachytherapy which may stay implanted.
Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) combines three-dimensional images, such as CT scans, with the precise technology of either 3-D or intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) to pinpoint and treat cancerous tumors. The images allow the cancer specialists to precisely localize the tumor each time radiation therapy is administered. This improves both accuracy of delivery and safety by reducing radiation exposure to other areas of the body including nearby tissue and organs. IGRT is used to treat tumors in areas of the body that are prone to movement, such as the lungs, liver, and prostate gland, as well as tumors located close to critical organs and tissues.
Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is an advanced form of external radiation treatment that allows precise targeting of tumor cells. The CT simulator localization scan or other three-dimensional images provide the radiation oncologist with an understanding of the shape and location of the tumor. With 3D planning, the radiation oncologist specifies the dose from various beams and sums up those doses to calculate the dose to tumor and normal tissue (forward planning). With IMRT, the radiation oncologist specifies the dose desired to give the tumor and the doses acceptable to the normal tissues (as low as possible). Then the computer system provides millions of alternative beam positions and the varying intensities of each beam, comparing one plan to the next until the best plan is identified. This is called inverse planning. Since each beam is broken up into many sub-beams of varying intensity the process is called intensity-modulated radiation.
ProstRcision is a treatment protocol developed and used exclusively by Radiotherapy Clinics of Georgia that utilizes pinpoint irradiation through seed therapy and conformal beam irradiation to treat prostate cancer.
Seed Implants (Low Dose Rate Brachytherapy)
Low-dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy delivers radiation using a radioactive device or implant placed inside the body. The device delivers a low dose of radiation to a limited area over a period of 20 to 50 hours. It is one of the most focused, precise forms of radiation therapy and spares much of the surrounding tissue. LDR can be used to treat various cancer sites, such as prostate, uterus, or cervix.
Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT)
Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), also known as stereotactic ablative body radiation (SABR), is an advanced type of radiation therapy that delivers high doses of radiation using several beams of varying intensity aimed at a very targeted area of the body. Due to the high intensity of the radiation dose, only one to five doses are given over a single day., Treatment can take up to a week and a half when the five treatments are given every other day. Three-dimensional images, such as CT or MRI scans, are used in the simulation process to direct the beams precisely while reducing radiation exposure to other areas of the body. Patients with small, well-defined tumors who cannot tolerate surgery are good candidates for SBRT.
Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS)
Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a type of stereotactic radiation therapy that can be used in place of or in conjunction with surgery for single tumors that have spread to the brain. It is given in one session, although the treatment can be repeated if necessary. There are two possible SRS treatments. In one, a machine focuses approximately 200 beams of radiation on the tumor from different angles while the patient’s head is kept in the same position. In the other version, a computer-controlled linear accelerator moves around the patient’s head to deliver radiation to the tumor from different angles.