High-Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy, sometimes called internal radiation therapy, is when a small, radiation source is placed directly within or near a tumor. This helps to spare or reduce radiation exposure to other organs.
HDR Brachytherapy works by inserting tiny, hollow catheters temporarily into a tumor. Seed like pellets are then inserted into each catheter. By using a computer guided system your radiation oncologist can control how far the pellet is inserted and how long the pellet stays in the catheter to release its radiation dose.
Brachytherapy offers a quicker, more effective type of radiation treatment for some patients. For many cancer types, the entire brachytherapy treatment takes one to two days, instead of five to seven weeks for external beam radiation therapy. Depending on the type and stage of cancer, HDR may be used alone or in combination with other treatment types. HDR Brachytherapy can be used to treat various types of cancer including breast, skin, prostate and gynecologic.