Internal radiation therapy delivers a high dose of radiation inside or near a tumor. We use several different devices, delivery methods, and dosage rates. We can maximize radiation to the target area and minimize damage to your healthy tissue. We personalize your treatment plan for the type and stage of cancer with which you have been diagnosed.
Types of internal radiation therapy
One type of internal radiotherapy is brachytherapy. There are two categories of brachytherapy:
- Interstitial brachytherapy: We place radiotherapeutic implants directly into the target tissue, such as your prostate or liver. These may be permanent or temporary. We use 3D image guidance for all implant procedures to increase accuracy.
- Intercavitary brachytherapy: We place radiotherapeutic devices in a body cavity, such as your rectum or uterus. These are temporary.
We also use radiopharmaceuticals. These medications combine:
- A therapeutic isotope that emits radiation
- A compound that binds only to specific cell types, such as bone or thyroid
In this way, we can treat cancers in a particular cell type throughout your body. You might also hear this type of treatment called “radionuclide therapy” or “un-sealed source radiotherapy.”
Internal radiation therapies we offer
We offer internal radiation therapies for:
- Bones: We use XOFIGO rA-223 for bone metastases, a radiopharmaceutical injection that slows the progression of bone metastases caused by prostate cancer.
- Gynecological organs: We use specialized devices to deliver temporary, high-dose radiation therapy directly to your cervix, endometrium, uterus, or vagina.
- Liver: We use a catheter to deliver TheraSphere microbeads loaded with Y-90 isotopes into the blood supply of tumors in your liver.
- Prostate: We use real time imaging and specially designed needles to precisely place Cs-131 implants (seeds) smaller than a grain of rice in your prostate.
- Sarcoma and skin: We use specialized devices to deliver temporary, high-dose radiation therapy directly to skin cancer lesions or sarcoma tumors.
- Thyroid: We use radiotherapeutic iodine (I-131) to treat some types of thyroid cancer. We can use this noninvasive treatment for an inpatient or outpatient procedure, depending on the dosage you receive. I-131 can also be used to treat overactive thyroid.