texas oncology more breakthroughs. more victories
Some of our cancer centers may have important notifications found on the location page. View More Important Notifications x
Request an Appointment

Internal Radiation Therapy

Internal radiation therapy (brachytherapy) is a type of radiation therapy that uses sealed containers of radioactive material placed close to or inside the tumor. Internal radiation therapy delivers a higher dose of radiation directly to the cancerous area than external radiation treatments. Internal radiation therapy is most often used to treat breast, prostate, skin and gynecological cancers.

Low Dose Rate Brachytherapy

Low Dose Rate (LDR) internal radiation therapy involves the use of radioactive materials inserted into body tissue in close proximity to the tumor to deliver high dose radiation in a permanent or temporary application. LDR brachytherapy is most often used to treat prostate and gynecologic cancers.

High Dose Rate Brachytherapy

High Dose Rate (HDR) internal radiation therapy utilizes radioactive material inserted into applicators within body cavities or tissues in close proximity to the tumor, allowing for a high dose of radiation to be delivered precisely to the tumor. HDR brachytherapy is a temporary implant conducted in an outpatient setting and minimizes treatment time. Imaging tools such as CT (computed tomography) verify the exact catheter or applicator placement, resulting in a radiation dose with one-millimeter accuracy that significantly spares radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissue and critical organs.

Brachytherapy for Breast Cancer

  • MammoSite®
    MammoSite® delivers a high daily dose of HDR brachytherapy to the area where breast cancer is most likely to recur after a lumpectomy. The radiation can kill any remaining cancer cells. MammoSite® works from inside the body via a discreet balloon catheter system implanted in the breast lumpectomy cavity. The system is in place for five days with treatments given twice a day, versus other treatments that may take five to seven weeks.
  • ConturaTM Balloon
    The ConturaTM Balloon delivers a high daily dose of HDR brachytherapy via five channels for the radioactive source. These channels allow clinicians to shape the radiation and administer radiation only where it is needed, thus protecting healthy tissue. Treatment time is decreased to just five days versus up to seven weeks.
    The SAVITM applicator delivers a high daily dose of HDR brachytherapy via multiple catheters that allow clinicians to contour the radiation and protect nearby healthy tissue. This approach provides greater flexibility in the delivery of radiation.

Gynecologic Cancer

  • HDR Brachytherapy
    HDR internal radiation therapy is used to treat gynecologic cancers by delivering radiation internally and precisely targeting the tumor. This precision minimizes the impact on the surrounding healthy tissue and limits side effects. The radiation is delivered through an applicator that is inserted internally and is removed once treatment is complete. Treatment time is significantly reduced to three to six treatments that last 10 to 20 minutes each.

Prostate Cancer

  • HDR Brachytherapy
    Prostate HDR brachytherapy involves temporarily implanting flexible needles within the prostate to allow the delivery of treatment using radioactive materials. Treatment time is reduced to one and a half days and it is an alternative treatment option for qualifying patients as compared to external beam treatments, which last five to seven weeks.

Skin Cancer

  • HDR Brachytherapy
    Skin HDR internal radiation therapy is a convenient, effective treatment alternative with outstanding results and minimal side effects. A radioactive seed travels through an applicator and delivers a precise radiation dose directly to the target within one-millimeter accuracy. It achieves good to excellent cosmetic results, and is a good treatment option for cancers around the eye and nose that are more difficult to treat surgically. It is typically administered two to three times per week for a total of six to 10 treatments. Treatment takes less than 10 minutes and is painless.