Endobronchial brachytherapy is an innovative form of radiation therapy that uses high-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy to destroy tumors in the lungs or throat, via the bronchial tubes.
During endobronchial brachytherapy, our radiation oncologist places a tiny catheter down the throat, meticulously positioning the catheter directly into or near the tumor. Once the catheter is in place, small pellets of radiation are placed in the catheter via a computer-controlled brachytherapy treatment machine called an afterloader.
During the treatment, pellets of radiation are inserted directly into or around the tumor. This helps to destroy the cancerous cells and tissues, while minimizing exposure to the surrounding healthy areas.
The treatment usually lasts about three to 10 minutes. Once treatment is complete, the afterloader removes the pellets and the radiation oncologist gently removes the catheter.
Endobronchial brachytherapy may be an alternative to external radiation. The procedure delivers a high concentration of radiation to a specific area, allowing for a greater radiation dose than external radiation, which affects a broader range of tissue.