High-dose-rate (HDR) temporary interstitial/intracavitary Brachytherapy
Brachytherapy is a type of radiation therapy that involves implantation of radioactive material inside the body to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. It is also known as internal radiation and may radiate high or low amounts of radiation. The therapy is used to treat the cancers throughout the body including prostate, cervix, head and neck, breast, gall bladder, uterus, vagina, lung, rectum, eye and skin.
There are two types of brachytherapy, either permanent or temporary.
Temporary brachytherapy: This type of radiotherapy involves implantation of highly radioactive material within the body inside a catheter or slender tube for a specific amount of time and then withdrawn. The therapy can be administered at low-dose rate (LDR) or high-dose rate (HDR) depending upon the patient's treatment plan.
Low-dose rate is most commonly used for treating prostate cancer. In this procedure the radioactive seeds stay inside the prostate and radiate small amount of radiation for some months. Patients can resume their normal routine even with the seeds implanted.
High-dose radiation lasts for 30 minutes and a computerized robot may be used to implant the seeds. The radioactive seeds inside the prostate radiate for the treatment duration and are then removed immediately after the treatment.