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Clinical Applications of High-Dose-Rate Brachytherapy

  • Subir Nag
  • Granger R. Scruggs
Chapter
Part of the Medical Radiology book series (MEDRAD)

Abstract

Brachytherapy has the advantage of delivering a high dose to the tumor while sparing the surrounding normal tissues. With proper case selection and delivery technique, high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy eliminates radiation exposure, allows short treatment times, and can be performed on an outpatient basis. Additionally, use of a single-stepping source allows optimization of dose distribution by varying the dwell time at each dwell position. However, when HDR brachytherapy is used, the treatments must be executed carefully, because the short treatment times do not allow any time for correction of errors, and mistakes can result in harm to patients. Hence, it is very important that all personnel involved in HDR brachytherapy be well trained and constantly alert. The use of HDR brachytherapy has expanded over the last decade and will continue to do so with refinements in the integration of imaging (computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, intraoperative ultrasonography) and optimization of dose distribution. Better tumor localization and normal tissue definition has led to more optimal dose distribution to the tumor and reduction of normal tissue exposure. It is anticipated that this will lead to better outcomes. The development of well-controlled randomized trials addressing issues of efficacy, toxicity, quality of life, and costs versus benefits will ultimately define the specific role of HDR brachytherapy in the therapeutic armamentarium at different disease sites.

Keywords

External Beam Radiation Therapy Fractionation Scheme Vaginal Cuff Dwell Position American Brachytherapy Society 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg  2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northern California Kaiser PermanenteSanta ClaraUSA
  2. 2.Stanford School of MedicineStanfordUSA
  3. 3.Department of Radiation OncologyCharles A. Sammons Cancer Center, Baylor University Medical Center–DallasTexasUSA

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