High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy

High Dose Rate Brachytherapy uses a radioactive source to eliminate cancerous cells similar to other radiation therapies. With this procedure, an applicator is positioned in or near the tumor and filled with radioactive material (iridium-192) for 5 to 15 minutes. Usually 2-5 treatments are given over a period of days or weeks.

A precise dosage of radiation, as prescribed by the radiation oncologist, is automatically delivered through the applicator. The radiation treatment staff constantly monitor treatment and maintain contact with patients throughout the procedure.

After treatment, the system returns the radioactive source into the protective storage unit. For most treatment sites, patients should be able to return home and normal activity immediately following treatment. There are no side effects following this procedure, for example nausea, hair loss or diarrhea. Patients are not radioactive during or after the treatment.

HDR brachytherapy is used to treat lung, breast, prostate and gynecologic cancers.