Brachytherapy is a targeted high-dose radiation treatment that can be delivered via radioactive "seeds" or wires that are placed directly in or near the tumor, or via an applicator device placed at the tumor site. The main benefit of brachytherapy is that it delivers a high dose of radiation directly to the tumor and reduces damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
Breast brachytherapy is a form of radiation therapy that is delivered from within the breast, using specially designed applicators rather than external radiation beams. It allows for a very precise, targeted approach to treatment that can be completed over the course of five days. Treatment is given using HDR.
High Dose Rate (HDR) brachytherapy
High Dose Rate (HDR) brachytherapy is a leading-edge treatment that allows radiation oncologists to deliver precise radiation treatment directly to cancerous tumors through catheters or applicators inserted into a body cavity or directly into the tissue. It is frequently used in the treatment of cervical and uterine cancers. High Dose Rate (HDR) brachytherapy is a delivery system that optimizes dose distribution to the target.
Low Dose Rate(LDR) Brachytherapy
Low-dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy is a type of internal radiation therapy that delivers a high dose of radiation at a low-dose rate from seed implants placed permanently in the organ. These seeds emit low levels of radiation for several weeks. Primarily used to treat prostate cancer, LDR brachytherapy is a one-time procedure performed on an outpatient basis.
External beam radiation
External beam radiation delivers a beam of high-energy x-rays to destroy cancer cells. External beam radiation gets its name from the fact that the beams come from an external source (a machine called a linear accelerator) that is aimed at the site of the tumor.
WCHN Cancer Centers use the following types of external beam radiation:
Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
Image Guided Radiation Therapy is an advanced form of radiation treatment that combines imaging and treatment capabilities on a single machine. IGRT is especially useful for cancer sites in parts of the body that move, such as the prostate and lungs, or for sites near major organs and tissues that should not receive radiation, such as the heart or kidneys. IGRT allows a radiation oncologist to see and track the tumor’s movement at the time of treatment. By making very fine adjustments to a patient’s position, the precision and accuracy of radiation therapy is increased.
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy delivers targeted radiation doses to the tumor site, patterned to match the shape of the tumor. This technology delivers the high doses needed to destroy cancer cells while also sparing surrounding organs and tissue. Varying the intensity of these beams enhances the ability of IMRT to maximize dosage and minimize radiation to surrounding healthy tissue.
Three-dimensional (3–D) Conformal Radiation Therapy
Three-dimensional (3-D) conformal radiation therapy utilizes specialized software to conform radiation beams to the shape of the tumor. Radiation is delivered precisely, based on exact width, height, and depth measurements. This helps minimize damage to nearby healthy tissue and organs. It is used to treat many types of cancer.
Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy
With volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT), single or multiple radiation beams sweep around the patient, greatly reducing treatment time compared to conventional radiation treatment.
Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT)
Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy is used to treat small- to medium-size tumors, malignant or benign. Incorporating detailed imaging technology, intensity modulated radiation therapy with arc technology, customized body immobilization, motion management, and image guidance prior to treatment delivery, this form of radiation treatment is very accurate and powerful while also protecting nearby organs. It is ideal for hard-to-reach tumors and those close to critical organs and also provides comparable treatment results to surgery for patients who are unable to tolerate an operation. SBRT requires from one to five treatments, compared to a traditional five- to seven-week course of treatment. Though it is used primarily for early stage lung cancers, its use continues to expand to other indications.
Stereotactic Radio Surgery (SRS) and Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT)
Some patients aren’t strong enough for surgery, while others have tumors that can’t be operated upon due to their location. Despite its name, SRS is a non-surgical procedure. It delivers precisely targeted radiation at much higher doses than traditional radiation therapy – with minimal damage to surrounding tissue. SRS is ideal for otherwise inoperable tumors, such as those in the brain that cannot be treated with traditional surgical methods.
This is a specialized radiation treatment for skin cancer. The energy beam is designed to treat cancers on the surface of the skin without scattering widely into surrounding healthy tissue. Skin cancers can be cured with excellent cosmetic results.
Radiopharmaceuticals are drugs that contain radioactive materials. These drugs are designed to travel directly to the part of the body where the cancer is located. Radiopharmaceuticals are used in small amounts for imaging tests; larger doses can be used to deliver radiation treatment.
Interventional Radiology Procedures that deliver radiation:
Sir-Spheres -Y-90 (Ytrium-90 radio embolization): SIR-Spheres® Y-90 resin microspheres , also known as selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT), delivers internal radiation to liver tumors. Designed specifically to work with the liver’s unique blood supply, millions of tiny spheres are sent directly to the tumors while sparing healthy liver tissue. The treatment requires a small incision in the groin and is administered via a very small, flexible tube (microcatheter) into the liver.