Internal radiation therapy, or Brachytherapy, refers to methods of radiation delivery in which radioactive material is implanted directly into or near a tumor. The radiation destroys the cancer cells but because of its precise placement, spares surrounding healthy tissue. Brachytherapy techniques can be used to treat prostate, lung, head/neck, pancreas, colon, esophagus and gynecological cancers. It may be given alone or as part of a program involving other treatments, and can be an alternative to surgery.
Advanced ROS offers both temporary High Dose Rate (HDR) and permanent Low Dose Rate (LDR) brachytherapy.
High dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy uses computer-driven technology to send a radioactive “seed” into a tiny catheter, which leads to the affected area. The seed stays inside the body for only a few minutes and is then removed. HDR is used to deliver high doses of radiation to small, clearly defined cancer sites. Because of the high dosage, some patients only need a few treatments, which can be performed on an outpatient basis.
Low dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy involves implanting radioactive seeds into the body that remain at the cancer site. The seeds emit low levels of radiation to the malignancy over several weeks or months until the radioactivity diminishes to undetectable levels.
Prostate Seed Brachytherapy
Advanced ROS is one of the leading centers in New York State for ultrasound-guided LDR prostate brachytherapy, the revolutionary “seed implant” therapy for prostate cancer. Prostate seed implantation cure rates are equivalent to surgical cure rates, with the majority of patients suffering only mild side effects from a minimally invasive outpatient procedure.
Research demonstrates that prostate cancer patients have higher cure rates and lower complication rates at facilities with highly experienced practitioners of this technique. Advanced ROS physicians perform the greatest number of prostate seed implant procedures annually in the Hudson Valley, and have over 15 years experience performing these procedures.