Brachytherapy Procedure

High Dose Rate Brachytherapy (HDR)

This treatment refers to the use of a temporary, but very intense radiation source, placed inside a tumor or body cavity where cancer may be present. HDR brachytherapy is delivered quickly (a fast "rate" of delivery) is typically done in an outpatient setting and may or may not require any use of sedation or anesthesia. Many types of cancer may be treated with HDR brachytherapy, including gynecologic cancers (cervix, endometrial, vagina), lung cancer with airway tumor obstruction and breast cancer when only partial breast radiation is needed. HDR brachytherapy may be combined with external beam radiation, depending upon clinical circumstances.

Low Dose Rate Brachytherapy, Prostate Seed Therapy

Brachymesh refers to a surgical mesh that contains radioactive seeds. The mesh is used when a lung surgeon removes a lung cancer (or metastatic tumor) using a "wedge" type of surgery. During surgery the brachymesh may be sewn directly over the surgical bed after the cancer is removed from the lung but before the chest is closed. The radiation sources remain permanently in the chest and continuously treat the tumor site for several weeks (until the sources decay down). When the radiation has been completely delivered, the risk of local cancer recurrence is greatly reduced.