Baptist Health Lexington: Using Brachytherapy in Cancer Treatment
Radiation oncologist Jonathan Feddock, MD, details how physicians can deliver radiation directly to a tumor, targeting the cancer in an outpatient therapy that requires fewer treatments.
Using Brachytherapy in Cancer Treatment Health Talks Transcript
Jonathan Feddock, MD, Radiation Oncology
The entire cancer field has been moving toward the direction of trying to come up with treatments that are safer for patients altogether. We’ve tried to focus on reducing side effects and making it an easier treatment overall for patients.
A lot of my focus so far has been using brachytherapy or, specifically, interstitial type of radiation treatments where we put radiation directly into the body using these very small radiation seeds. The ideal thing about these radiation seeds is they only deliver radiation about 5 millimeters or a centimeter away from the radiation source, so it is the most effective way we have of delivering a high dose of radiation to one part of the body and sparing what’s immediately next to it.
The nice thing about these is you’re able to turn the regular radiation treatment, which can be several weeks, into a single treatment that can be done as an outpatient. We can oftentimes help patients who might not be able to travel on a frequent basis. We can also help patients when it comes to total cost. It’s much less than what you would anticipate if somebody had four or five weeks of daily radiation treatments, which means we can actually make this treatment more available to a larger group of patients.
This brachytherapy option has the most curative potential, with possibly the least amount of side effects, which makes it a great tool in the shed for us to use against cancer.