High Dose-Rate Radiation Implant / Brachytherapy (HDR) may be appropriate for patients with cancer of the esophagus, lung, bile duct or soft tissue. It also may be used as a re-treatment method for these cancers.
The treatment puts a high dose of the radioactive source into or close to the tumor for a short period of time. This method spares surrounding healthy tissue and avoids the complications associated with traditional surgery.
HDR offers distinct advantages over Low Dose-Rate (LDR) Radiation therapy including an increased quality of life due to fewer treatment appointment. For certain cancers, HDR may be given in an outpatient setting, whereas LDR requires a hospital stay of three or four days. Also, unlike LDR, patients are only radioactive during the treatment.