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Radiation -  HDR Brachytherapy

HDR Brachytherapy (High Dose Radiation) - Is a complex yet very focused option for radiation treatment offer by our Radiation Oncologists. If you have low or intermediate risk disease and a candidate, monotherapy treatment can be considered meaning you would receive 2 outpatient treatments deliver around 2 weeks apart. This is equivalent to the 5-6 weeks of external radiation but much more precise and typically has less sides affects. In comparison the LDR (low dose radiation) or "Seeds" as they are know no permanent pellets are left behind which can cause significant urinary issues years and decades later. HDR can also be delivered as a one time boost for more aggressive cancers and reduces the amount of external beam radiation needed. This may lessen the amount of radiation surrounding organs such as the bladder and rectum receive also cutting down on symptoms and potential future issues.

Dr. Pattaras see patients with the Emory Radiation Oncologist in a Multi-disciplinary appointment and has assisted in well over a thousand HDR procedures.

The procedures are done under anesthesia in the operating room then once the patient has the tubes placed within the prostate (trocars) they are then brought to Radiation Oncology suite and a CT scan of the prostate is performed showing the location of the trocars. A specific radiation treatment plan is created with a Radiation Physicist and Oncologist which is delivered using a computer driven robot. Once radiation is delivered through the trocars (usually between 14-18), the bladder catheter and trocars are removed. Once the patient voids they can be discharged home the same day. If the patient requires a second session for monotherapy this is usually performed 2 weeks later.

This is the MOST precise way of delivering radiation into the prostate and the advantage of radiating from inside to outside means less scatter to the rest of the urinary tract and rectum.

Emory is internationally known as a top center for HDR Brachytherapy!

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