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High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy

High Dose Rate (HDR) brachytherapy is a type of radiation that is delivered inside the body via implants placed close to or inside the cancerous tumor. In comparison with external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) types such as IMRT, SBRT and SRS, HDR delivers a treatment that only takes a few minutes and minimizes radiation exposure to healthy tissue. The entire course of treatment can take as little one day.

How it Works

With HDR, small hollow catheters are inserted into the tumor. A series of radioactive pellets are inserted into each catheter. These pellets release a specific dose of radiation, which is controlled precisely by how far the pellet is inserted into the catheter and how long it remains in the catheter. Brachytherapy is commonly used to treat gynecological, prostate, breast and skin cancer, but it can also be used to treat tumors in other locations or in combination with EBRT, surgery or chemotherapy.

MammoSite® Radiation Therapy System (RTS)

MammoSite® RTS is a type of breast brachytherapy that can typically be completed in four to five days.

How it Works

With MammoSite, a single balloon catheter is inserted into the area where a breast tumor has been surgically removed—the site where tumors are most likely to reoccur. Once inserted, the balloon is expanded and radiation is delivered through a tiny bead attached to a wire, irradiating the area surrounding the cavity.

How to Prepare

Learn more about how to prepare for radiation therapy treatment.