Brachytherapy, also called internal radiation therapy involves placing radioactive sources within the tumor or right next to tumor tissue. Because the radiation sources are placed so close to the tumor, doctors can deliver a large dose of radiation directly to the tumor with minimal exposure to normal tissue.
Prostate Brachytherapy/LDR Brachytherapy
Low Dose Rate (LDR) Brachytherapy or seed implant therapy is used for the treatment of prostate cancer. This procedure is minimally invasive and can typically be done on an out-patient basis. The radioactive sources are implanted utilizing ultrasound guidance, the sources look like a grain of rice encapsulated in titanium. The sources are of a very low energy and most of the radiation is contained within the prostate gland. The radioactivity of the seeds will gradually decay, about 90% of the dose is delivered in the first six months. The seeds remain safely in the patient’s body. Prostate seed implant therapy is not effective for all prostate cancer patients your physician will discuss the best options with you at the time of consultation.
High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy
High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy may be used to treat a range of cancers. It is primarily used for the treatment of gynecological malignancies. In HDR Brachytherapy machines a powerful radioactive source travels through small tubes called catheters to the tumor for the amount of time prescribed by your physician. The treatment is delivered in a few minutes. Depending on the area treated, you may receive several treatments over a few days or weeks.
Partial breast irradiation with the HDR using a balloon catheter is an option for some patients. This technique delivers the prescribed radiation to the lumpectomy cavity. The treatment is generally over a one week period on out-patient basis. Click here to visit Mammosite.com, (may need to add other links)