Brachytherapy is an innovative, advanced cancer treatment that delivers radiation to tumors by placing radioactive sources (seeds) directly into the tumor or close to it, allowing escalation of radiation dose while sparing normal tissue. An increased radiation dose is shown in many cases to provide better results by improving local tumor control. The amount of radiation is generally greater than external beam radiation treatment, is precisely targeted within the tumor to minimize risk of damaging surrounding healthy tissues and may kill more cancer cells in fewer treatments.
Brachytherapy treatments offered at our facility include High Dose Rate, Low Dose Rate and Prostate Seed Implants. High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy delivers the treatment quicker than traditional Low Dose Rate (LDR) Brachytherapy.
High Dose Rate Brachytherapy
High Dose Rate Brachytherapy uses a radioactive source that is placed inside the area being treated. Then, a high dose of radiation is projected upon a limited area of the body, leaving the surrounding normal tissue unaffected. Given either inpatient or outpatient, HDR’s advanced imaging facilitates exact catheter placement, resulting in a radiation dose with one-millimeter accuracy to significantly spare radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissue and critical organs. HDR Brachytherapy lasts only a few minutes in an outpatient setting, while resulting in more rapid recovery time.
Types of HDR Brachytherapy
Low Dose Rate (LDR) Brachytherapy Radioactive Seed Implants
Low Dose Rate Brachytherapy Radioactive Seed Implants are often used as a treatment strategy for prostate cancer. LDR Brachytherapy involves surgically implanting radioactive "seeds" into the tumor, which deliver a high dose of radiation with minimal or no effects to surrounding tissues. The seeds are permanently set in place, but become inactive after a period of weeks or months.
Prostate Seed Implants Brachytherapy
Prostate Seed Implants use iodine or palladium seed implants to treat prostate cancer. This procedure is performed in a surgical suite where seeds are deposited in the tumor using a specialized ultrasound system to achieve a uniform radiation dose. Our newest digital Ultrasound technology helps guide seed implants and marks the location of the tumor to be treated.