HDR brachytherapy

Also known as: High-dose-rate brachytherapy

High-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy involves the remote placement of a tiny, very highly radioactive source, which is housed in a lead-lined device called a high-dose-rate remote afterloader. During the treatment, the computer-controlled afterloader delivers the radiation source to the tumor through a tube called a catheter, which has been placed in the appropriate positions (change “positions” to ‘location’) within the body. Radiation is usually given in multiple doses once or twice per day, or once or twice per week, for 10 to 30 minutes per treatment. With HDR brachytherapy, the radiation oncologist controls the location and duration of the source, making it possible to tailor the doses precisely to the tumor. The radioactive sources are placed temporarily inside the body and are removed after the appropriate amount of radiation has been delivered. Patients can go home shortly after the procedure as there is no residual radioactivity when the treatment is completed. Common indications for HDR brachytherapy include partial breast radiation, treatment of cancer arising from the cervix or uterus, and some instances of prostate cancer.

Providence Radiation Oncology Services offers a comprehensive approach to cancer care with a wide range of world-class cancer therapy modalities implemented by a multidisciplinary team of experts. Our extraordinary team, coupled with state-of-the-art technology, creates the environment for superior treatment outcomes for cancer patients.

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Radiation Oncology Roundtable

Despite the fact that about a third of all cancer patients receive radiation therapy in some form, this invisible and painless procedure remains the least understood common cancer treatment. Providence Cancer Center News recently sat down with Christine Cha, M.D., Jeannie Louie, M.D., and Richard Rodriguez, R.T., to find out why radiation matters today.

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