High Dose Rate Bracchytherapy


Email rkooner@stvincents.com.au or call 02 8382 6980 for a confidential appointment.

High dose rate bracchytherapy is an excellent treatment for prostate cancer. 

I’ve been doing that now at St Vincents for about 10 years. 

It’s a way of giving what we call conformal radiotherapy where you get a much higher energy to the prostate. 

So what we do is we put some wires into the prostate, that’s done under an anaesthetic, a short half hour procedure. 

We put 20 wires in, the patient then goes off to the CT room later than morning and gets some planning done to work out exactly where the wires are and the physicist works out how much energy to put in each one of those wires. 

So that afternoon they have a ray, a treatment where ray energy is given through the wires into the prostate and then they have another treatment the next morning and in the afternoon when the wires come out and the patient goes home the next day.

They then have a break for a week and then have five weeks of the external beam energy. 

In this way we get a much higher dose of radiotherapy to the prostate with lower dosage to adjacent organs. 

So theoretically we get a higher cure rate with decreased side effect rate. 

So my preference usually is to do high dose rate bracchytherapy for patients but the prostate has got to be a certain size to get the wires in. 

If the prostate is too large they may not be suitable for this and also sometimes we combine hormone therapy with radiotherapy so that we will use hormones for a period of about 12 months with the radiotherapy because studies have shown that hormones plus radiotherapy in active cancers gives better outcomes than just radiotherapy by itself.