The term, Brachytherapy, encompasses two methods of delivering radiation to the prostate using small radiation sources.
In permanent brachytherapy treatment, radioactive seeds are implanted in the prostate gland as individual free seeds or connected by strands of absorbable material. These seeds emit radiation over a short, measurable distance and can, if properly localized, deliver a total dose of radiation at “cancer fatal levels” without affecting the surrounding tissue. Permanent brachytherapy is volume dependent with optimal gland volume below 50cc.
High dose radiation (HDR) doesn’t just describe the rate at which the radiation is given; it is a completely different process for delivering brachytherapy radiation. Instead of having a large number of uniform strength seeds that are inserted into the prostate permanently. HDR uses a single high-intensity radiation source on the end of a thin cable that is inserted temporarily via thin, hollow, close-ended catheters into and around the prostate.
- Prostate Seed Implantation for Prostate Cancer • Peter Grimm, DO, et al. 2003
- High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy • D. Jeffrey Demanes MD, FACRO, FACR 2007
- Temporary Seed Implant with High Dose Rate Brachytherapy (HDR) • Glenn Gejerman, MD 2003
- Salvage High Dose Rate Brachytherapy After Radiation • Paul Y. Song, M.D. 2008
- How Does Radiation Therapy Work? – American Society for Radiation Oncology
- Brachytherapy – American Society for Radiation Oncology
- Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer – A Patient Guide – UCSF
- Emerging Technologies in Prostate Cancer Radiation Therapy: Improving the Therapeutic Window – Moffitt Cancer Center