Brachytherapy: A personalized and precise approach in cancer care

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Posted on : Dec 05, 2023



In the ever-evolving realm of cancer care, the focus remains on identifying precise strategies that effectively combat cancer while minimizing harm to healthy tissues. One such well-established radiation technique is internal radiation therapy, popularly known as brachytherapy. The term “Brachy” therapy means “close” or “near” treatment approach in Greek as opposed to “tele” or “far”-therapy of external beam radiation therapy (EBRT). Brachytherapy offers a personalized and a more precise approach in cancer care.

The Process of Brachytherapy:

Brachytherapy utilizes radiation from a radioactive source to eradicate cancer cells and shrink tumor size. This technique involves insertion of a sealed radioactive material directly into or near the tumor using needles, applicators or catheters. The radioactive sources remain in place for a specific duration before removal, ensuring accurate dose deposition in the affected area. Thus this technique enable us to deliver a very high dose of radiation to disease while minimizing exposure to surrounding healthy tissue.

Versatility in Forms:

Brachytherapy can be delivered by several forms, including superficial/surface moulds, intracavitary, intraluminal and interstitial. An additional specialized form known as Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT) delivers a focused radiation dose to the tumor site immediately after surgical removal.

Treatment Efficiency and Duration:

Compared to prolonged fractionated radiotherapy schemes, brachytherapy offers shorter treatment durations, often completed within a few days. The duration varies based on the cancer type and disease stage, with some cases requiring a single session or multiple days. Notably in many instances, brachytherapy can be performed on an outpatient basis, minimizing hospital visits and disruptions to daily life.

Brachytherapy in Cancer Management:

Brachytherapy can be used as primary treatment for early lesions or in combination alongside surgery or EBRT in advanced primary tumors. Its efficacy spans various cancers, including cervical, endometrial, vaginal, prostate, breast, head and neck, sarcoma, and skin cancers.

Advancements in Technology:

Ongoing advancements in brachytherapy technology, including image-guided and high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy, play a pivotal role in refining treatment efficacy and reducing potential side effects. These innovations enable precise delivery of radiation doses, maximizing treatment outcomes while minimizing adverse effects.

Aster Hospitals in Bangalore: Leading the Way

At Aster Hospitals in Bangalore, our commitment to delivering comprehensive and compassionate cancer care is unwavering. We are equipped with cutting-edge Brachytherapy facilities, an Elekta Flexitron HDR remote after-loader and an IORT facility. By embracing the innovative advancements in brachytherapy, we strive to provide effective cancer treatment, contributing meaningfully to the ongoing fight against cancer.

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