High-Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy
Cancer expert, Dr. Daniel Nader explains the benefits of brachytherapy, an innovative form of internal radiation. Brachytherapy may be used to treat lung cancer and prostate cancer.
Dr. Daniel Nader: Brachytherapy is internal radiation and we use that to very frequently in treating lung cancer. Lung cancers in which there are tumors inside the bronchial tubes. So how we deliver that is that the patient is brought to the special room that were in right now. There sedated and we use a brachy scope to go down into their lung to identify the tumor. Once we’ve identified that tumor we are able to place this catheter through the scope, into the bronchial tube and lay it right beside where the tumor mass is located. The bronchoscope is withdrawn, this catheter remains inside the patient and is attached to this device. We take specialized X-rays to identify and assess where the catheter is exactly inside the lung, a treatment planning is done by our radiation therapy technicians and our rational oncologist then oversees that, reviews it make sure its accurate and correct. Once there’s been accuracy on the treatment plan then with this devise located in this device that has a special wire and attached to the wire is a very high dose of radiation, that source then will travel through the catheter inside the patient directly to the tumor mass. It will stay in that sight for just a few moments long enough to deliver a very precise dose of radiation at a very precise distance inside the lung. Then automatically with robotics, that sources’ then come out with the catheter back into this protective housing. Once that occurs then our nursing staff come in and remove that catheter which comes out very easily and recover the patient from there sedation.
Brachytherapy is a type of radiation therapy where we put the radioactive source either within or adjacent to the tumor. So it allows us to treat the cancer from the inside out. What this is a benefit to the patient. The fact that it allows us to give a very high does of radiation to the cancer target, and to eliminate and minimize the radiation to the surrounding normal tissues; there by having less side effects. We use brachytherapy very frequently here at Cancer Treatment Centers of America to treat cancers such as, breast cancer, using the mammosite system. We treat prostate cancer very frequently, and we treat gynecological malignancies as well as lung cancers. And were very excited about this technique because it’s very quick to give the radiation, and it has minimal side effects for the patients.