is the temporary or permanent placement of a radioactive source either on or
within body tissues or cavities. Brachytherapy allows the delivery of a high
dose of radiation to a small area while sparing surrounding normal tissue.
Radiation can be delivered interstitial or intra-cavitary. In an interstitial
implant, the radioactive source is contained within a needle, seed, wire or
catheter that is placed directly into the tumor or tumor bed. The implant may
be temporary or permanent (e.g., prostate seed). Brachytherapy is often used in
the treatment of cancers of the cervix, endometrium, prostate and head and neck
High Dose Rate (HDR)
dose rate or HDR brachytherapy treatments utilize radioactive materials that
are placed temporarily in body tissues or cavities. These implants can be done
with high intensity sources that deliver a treatment in two to twenty minutes.
The HDR delivery device will remotely control the source to move from the
device into a plastic tube within the body and then retract at the conclusion
of the treatment.
Low Dose Rate (LDR)
dose rate or LDR brachytherapy treatments utilize radioactive materials that
are placed either temporarily or permanently in body tissues or cavities. These
implants are done with moderate intensity sources that are maintained within
the cavity for several hours, days or permanently. The side effects of a
temporary implant are similar to those experienced with external beam