405-271-5641 Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center [ Map ]
Patients with certain types of cancer may be able to be treated with brachytherapy at OU Physicians Radiation Oncology. Brachytherapy involves placement of radioactive "seeds" in or near a cancerous tumor, delivering a high radiation dose to the tumor while reducing the radiation exposure in the surrounding healthy tissues.
Brachytherapy for Breast Cancer Treatment
Traditional radiation treatment for breast cancer involves about six weeks of daily external beam radiation that treats the entire breast. When used instead of traditional radiation therapy to treat breast cancer, brachytherapy shortens treatment time and reduces radiation exposure. Brachytherapy also has fewer side effects.
Brachytherapy treatment typically lasts only five days and targets the tumor area precisely.Using a balloon-catheter method (also known as Mammosite or XOFT), the specialist inserts a radioactive pellet in a balloon that has been inflated in the tumor cavity. This procedure is done on an outpatient basis over a five-day period.
Candidates for breast brachytherapy typically have early stage tumors with a margin of healthy tissue around the tumor site after removal and minimal or no migration of cancer cells to nearby lymph nodes.
Brachytherapy for Prostate Cancer Treatment
Brachytherapy has been used as a prostate cancer treatment for many years. Radioactive seeds are implanted into the prostate, where they deliver localized radiation for a number of months to destroy the prostate cancer. The seeds remain permanently, where they eventually become inert material.
OU Physicians radiation oncologists and urologists utilize software that allows for real-time treatment planning during the prostate brachytherapy procedure. This makes it possible for the treating physicians to evaluate the implant and make adjustments to needle and seed location during the actual implant procedure in the operating room. The system is also used to locate, contour and evaluate the radiation dose to nearby nerves, since high radiation doses in these regions can cause incontinence, erectile dysfunction or other functional problems.
Brachytherapy for Gynecologic Cancer Treatment
Brachytherapy also may be used in several types of gynecologic cancers, such as endometrial and cervical cancer. Most gynecologic cancers are treated with high-dose rate brachytherapy, primarily because it is well-tolerated by patients and can be administered in an outpatient setting.
Brachytherapy may be used in other types of cancers, such as head and neck, gallbladder and lung cancer.
For appointments or referrals to OU Physicians Radiation Oncology, call 405-271-3016.