Soft Tissue Sarcoma High-Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy
Learn More About HDR Brachytherapy for Soft Tissue Sarcoma: Chat with Us | Email Us
High-Dose Rate Brachytherapy for Soft Tissue sarcoma
Video: HDR BrachytherapyHDR Brachytherapy
At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), we use a variety of innovative forms of radiation therapy to fight soft tissue sarcoma. One possible treatment option is high-dose rate brachytherapy, or HDR brachytherapy. This is an internally delivered method of radiation therapy that offers a fast, powerful and precise way to deliver radiation directly to soft tissue sarcoma tumors.
With HDR brachytherapy, radiation is deposited inside the body, in the area of the tumor, thereby delivering a maximum dose while minimizing exposure to the surrounding healthy tissue. This is especially useful for soft tissue sarcoma tumors located near vital organs. By avoiding damage to healthy tissue, high-dose rate brachytherapy can also minimize the side effects that you may experience during standard radiation therapy.
How HDR Brachytherapy Works
For this treatment, your CTCA radiation team will temporarily insert very thin, hollow catheters into or near the site of your soft tissue sarcoma. Imaging with ultrasound, CT or MRI is often used to direct the catheter placement into the precise location(s) needed to effectively treat the area of the tumor.
Next, a radioactive pellet welded onto a wire is pushed through one catheter into the tumor, and then into another catheter to release more radiation. The sequential process continues until the pellet has entered each of the catheters. Your CTCA soft tissue sarcoma care team will use computer guidance to control how far the treatment pellets are placed into the catheters and to determine how long the pellet stays in the catheter to release the prescribed radiation dose. This allows us to precisely target the exact location of the tumor.
Advantages of HDR Brachytherapy for Soft Tissue Sarcoma
- Delivers a precise, highly concentrated dose of radiation directly to the area of the soft tissue sarcoma tumor.
- High-dose rate brachytherapy limits radiation exposure to healthy surrounding tissues, reducing some of the side effects associated with standard radiation therapy. Since soft tissue sarcomas are often located near joints and other sensitive areas, this is often an important advantage.
- Each brachytherapy treatment takes minutes, rather than days.
- After a series of soft tissue sarcoma HDR brachytherapy treatments, the catheters are removed and no radioactive seeds are left in the body.
High-dose rate brachytherapy for soft tissue sarcoma is often used following surgery to help eradicate any cancerous cells that remain after the procedure. Radiation therapy may also be combined with chemotherapy in some cases, depending on the personalized treatment plan that has been developed by you and your care team.
External beam radiation therapy (EBRT) may also be necessary at times to supplement HDR brachytherapy for the treatment of soft tissue sarcoma.
Next Topic: Soft Tissue Sarcoma IMRT