Brachytherapy - High Dose Rate (HDR)

Powerful radiation therapy delivered internally to accurately treat specific types of cancer

What is HDR brachytherapy?

Brachytherapy is a type of radiation therapy that involves placing small, medically calculated amounts of radiation contained in radioactive pellets or seeds that release the radiation directly into a tumor in order to destroy cancerous cells. High-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy is a powerful form of brachytherapy that can be used to treat prostate, gynecological, skin and breast cancers. We sometimes use HDR brachytherapy alongside other treatments such as surgery or other types of radiation therapy, and we can provide a “boost” of radiation to a tumor while limiting damage to the surrounding healthy tissue.

There are two types of brachytherapy, high-dose-rate (HDR) and low-dose-rate(LDR), the difference between the two is the how quickly the radiation is delivered. HDR brachytherapy can be performed in one treatment session, whereas LDR brachytherapy is often carried out continuously over several days.

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HDR brachytherapy

What types of HDR brachytherapy treatment can be used?

  1. Interstitial brachytherapy
    The radiation is delivered directly into the tissue, for example when treating prostate cancer
  2. Intracavitary brachytherapy
    The radiation is delivered into a cavity (space) near a tumor, for example in the vagina to treat cervical and vaginal cancers

What types of HDR brachytherapy treatment can be used?

The tumor itself receives a high dose of radiation while the surrounding healthy tissue receives a much lower dose. That means less damage to normal tissue and fewer side effects compared to some other treatments. HDR brachytherapy can be used alone or applied after surgery to help prevent recurrence of cancer.

Our experienced radiation therapy teams work together to provide precision brachytherapy and expert care that’s focused on you. Our convenient treatment locations mean you can access world-class cancer care close to home, so you can focus on your life, while we focus on treating your cancer.

What types of HDR brachytherapy treatment can be used?

Side effects of brachytherapy are specific to the area being treated, your radiation oncologist will be able to tell you more about what you can expect from your treatment.

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What is LDR Brachytherapy?

At GenesisCare, we also offer low-dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy for the treatment of some types of prostate and breast cancers. This treatment involves your oncologist implanting small amounts of radioactive pellets or seeds into your tumor site. Overtime, radiation is slowly released directly into the tumor, killing cancerous cells before naturally diminishing. Read more about LDR brachytherapy

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