One of the most advanced technologies in Cancer Treatment in the current world of medicine is called Varian GAMMAMEDPLUS IX 24 channel Brachytherapy. Internal radiation is also called brachytherapy.
In this therapy, a radioactive implant is put inside the body in or near the tumour. Placing the implant is usually a painless procedure. Depending on your type of cancer and treatment plan, you might get a temporary or a permanent implant.
So how is internal radiation different from external? Well, for one, internal radiation therapy (brachytherapy) allows a higher dose of radiation in a smaller area than might be possible with external radiation treatment. It uses a radiation source that’s usually sealed in a small holder called an implant. Depending on the implant, they have different nomenclatures like pellets, seeds, ribbons, wires, needles, capsules, balloons, or tubes. No matter which, the implant is placed in your body, very close to or inside the tumour – this is done so that very few normal cells are harmed.
Brachytherapy (brak-e-THER-uh-pee) is a procedure that involves placing radioactive material inside or close to the body. Brachytherapy is one type of radiation therapy that's used to treat cancer. Brachytherapy is sometimes called internal radiation.
Advantage - 1)Highest Conformal
3)shorter duration of treatment
4)Minimum dose to surrounding stuct reduce side effect
5)Can give higher doses to target with limited side effect. Disadvantage
-1)Invasive procedure,requires technical experties
-2)Can not treat large volume.
Yes, Brachytherapy can be use to treat prostate cancer but it is invasive procedure with advance techniques & precise delivery of external bhim radiation (SBRT,IGRT) External bhim therapy alone can be equally effected.
There are three types of brachytherapy:
1)Low-dose rate (LDR) implants
2)High-dose rate (HDR) implants
There are acute (short term) or long term side effect which may last years. But comparing to the advantages of Brachytherapy in treating Cancer, the side effects are not much to worry about.