brachytherapy for prostate cancer

Brachytherapy for Prostate Cancer

Brachytherapy, which was developed at MSK, is an internal form of radiation therapy in which radioactive seeds are implanted near the tumor location.These operations are done under anaesthetic as outpatient treatments.The majority of patients are able to return home the same day as their treatment.

There are two kinds of them:

Brachytherapy with a High-Dose-Rate:

We provide intense bursts of radiation in a short length of time with high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy.We place a number of plastic catheters (tubes) into or around the tumor in your prostate after placing you under anesthesia.The catheters are connected to a machine that uses radioactive pellets to provide exact dosages of radiation.The pellets are injected into catheters for one or two 15-minute sessions, delivering radiation to the tumor directly.

The catheters are withdrawn after the final treatment, and you are free to go home.

During the process, our radiation oncology staff uses computer technologies to assure exact therapy.Real-time CT scans, together with MRI data collected before to the surgery, are frequently used to plan and guide your treatment, as well as to increase the dose of radiation in areas of the prostate that require a more aggressive approach.We are one of the few hospitals in the world that uses portable CT scanners to obtain real-time data.

For men with more advanced disease, we usually suggest HDR brachytherapy followed by a short course of image-guided, intensity-modulated radiation therapy.

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For all types of brachytherapy, we rely on MRI data to show us where the tumors are located so that large doses of radiation can be delivered to these places within the gland with extreme precision.

Brachytherapy may be investigated as a treatment option for men who have had their cancer recur following radiation therapy.This salvage treatment may have less negative effects than prostate cancer surgery and may be able to completely eradicate any remaining cancer.


Brachytherapy with a Low-Dose-Rate:

While you’re under anesthesia, we insert tiny titanium seeds containing radiation in or near the tumor with low-dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy.The seeds are placed using ultrasound imaging as a guidance.In 95% of cases, this procedure is effective in removing the malignancy.

LDR brachytherapy is performed as an outpatient procedure at Memorial Sloan Kettering.It normally takes around an hour and a half.Despite the fact that the seeds are permanent, they produce little or no discomfort, and their radioactivity fades away after a few weeks or months.

We developed and use real-time imaging guidance when implanting radioactive seeds in your body to ensure that the tumor receives the optimal amount of radiation while the surrounding tissue is protected.

A movable CT scanner (called an O-arm) delivers real-time images of your prostate during the surgery.The ultrasound images we capture before the treatment are combined with these real-time CT scans using a sophisticated computer software system.The machine examines millions of probable seed placements using this information.It selects the ones that will give a precise dose of radiation to the tumor while avoiding harm to healthy tissue in a matter of seconds.

We take a last CT scan before you leave the operating room to check that the seeds were planted correctly.

brachytherapy for prostate cancer

Mayo Clinic