High-dose Brachytherapy (HDR)

High-Dose Rate (HDR) brachytherapy is an innovative form of internal radiation therapy. In this treatment, radiation is delivered through catheters (very tiny tubes) to the tumor area, protecting healthy tissue. This procedure is typically repeated over several treatments to quickly deliver a high dose of radiation to the tumor.

Compared to low-dose radioactive seeds that are implanted for extended periods of time, the higher doses used in HDR brachytherapy allow delivering equivalent radiation in just a few minutes by inserting and then removing the radioactive material. HDR brachytherapy may be given as the only treatment or it may be combined in a treatment plan with external radiation therapy.

The advantages of HDR brachytherapy are several. The treatment is quick compared to most other methods. It can be performed on an outpatient basis. Most importantly, precise control over the amount of radiation and the limited exposure to healthy tissue translate to excellent success rates for certain types of cancers.