Get leading-edge HDR and LDR brachytherapy treatment from Princeton Radiation Oncology.
Brachytherapy is the treatment of cancer by placing radioactive sources—called “seeds”—in or just next to a tumor.
There are two main types of brachytherapy: high dose rate (HDR) and low dose rate (LDR). During brachytherapy, the radioactive sources may be left in place permanently (LDR) or only temporarily (HDR), depending upon your cancer. So, brachytherapy procedures sometimes require anesthesia and a brief stay in the hospital, and temporary implants are left in the body for several hours or days. But it can also be much faster and more patient-friendly.
How brachytherapy at Princeton Radiation Oncology works.
To position the sources accurately—essential for delivering the planned dose of radiation—we use special catheters or applicators. With intracavitary treatment, we put the radioactive sources into a space near where the tumor is located. With interstitial treatment, we put them directly into the tissues.
HDR brachytherapy treats multiple cancers…and is easier on you.
Useful in the treatment of breast, gynecologic, gastrointestinal and prostate cancers, high dose rate brachytherapy allows our radiation oncologists to complete brachytherapy sessions in about 10 to 20 minutes. We use devices called “remote afterloading” machines to deliver the radiation sources directly to the tumor via multiple small catheters. Because the seeds are of a powerful dose and placed (“dwelled”) temporarily, we can maximize the anti-cancer effects to the tumor while limiting exposure to healthy tissue by controlling the duration of exposure.
The afterloader removes the radiation seeds after your short session, and most people are able to go home shortly after the procedure. Depending on the area treated, you may receive several treatments over a number of days or weeks.