High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy is a form of internal radiation therapy where a small radioactive source is delivered directly into the tumour for a short time. The term brachytherapy was derived from the Greek word "brachy" meaning "short distance".
During treatment, the radioactive source, travels from the treatment unit, through a delivery tube, into the treatment applicators. After treatment the source is retracted into the unit so no radioactive material remains in the patient.
Treatment applicators are inserted or implanted into the patient in and around the tumour site. The type of applicator used depends on the tumour location. Your Radiation Oncologist and Radiation Therapy Nurse will discuss the finer details of your brachytherapy treatment at your consultation.
The main advantage of HDR brachytherapy is that large doses of radiation can be delivered to the tumour, with minimal impact on healthy tissue. The number of treatments and time taken will depend on your specific tumour type. You may require a single treatment or multiple treatments.
The W.P. Holman Clinic (Launceston) offers the only HDR Brachytherapy program for Tasmania. The W.P. Holman Clinic treats a wide range of tumour sites including:
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