High Dose Rate Brachytherapy
As part of our comprehensive treatment options for breast cancer, we offer partial breast brachytherapy with a radiobiologically higher dose rate which enables the patient to complete her radiation treatment in just 5 treatment days, with 2 sessions per day. Brachytherapy is a form of radiotherapy in which a radioactive source is placed directly at the tumor site.
For patients who meet the criteria for breast brachytherapy, the breast surgeons place the SenoRx Contura balloon, a plastic balloon catheter with 5 channels in the lumpectomy bed. The patient then comes to Radiation Oncology for imaging of the catheter and treatment planning. The next morning, the patient receives the first of her 10 brachytherapy treatments.
The treatment is delivered with computerized control under physician and physicist surveillance over 5 to 7 minutes with a special High Dose Rate Remote Afterloading machine, which employs a flexible catheter with a radioactive iridium wire at its tip.
High Dose Rate Brachytherapy is an outpatient procedure. The radiation treats the lumpectomy bed with a small margin, sparing the majority of the breast. After the last treatment, the balloon is deflated and easily removed from the breast.