Internal radiation therapy

Brachytherapy is a form of therapy which has been established for a long time. It is a form of internal radiation therapy. Brachytherapy can be divided into two types of treatment. It is either carried out as HDR (high dose rate)-brachytherapy or as seed implantation, which is also known as LDR (low dose rate) brachytherapy.

The significant distinction between both forms of therapy is the fact that LDR-therapy includes the implantation of radiation sources, so-called seeds, in the prostate (permanent implantation). These pellets are designed to deliver steady radiation to the surrounding tissue. In HDR-therapy, the radiation source is removed after the treatment (temporary implantation). While permanent implantation sees a decay of radiation within a year and does not require the removal of the particles, temporary implantation (HDR) usually requires a second session after a week. Subsequently, a six-week, out-patient course of percutaneous radiation on a daily  basis is carried out as a supplementary feature of the therapy. Both treatments damage the tumor tissue, leading to the destruction of the tumor cells. In particular, seed implantation is suitable for treating tumors which had been discovered at an early stage and are less aggressive. Temporary implantation, however, can also be used to treat more aggressive tumors.

Frequently asked questions

Is there an outcome analysis?

Yes, the Martini-Klinik is one of the few surgical clinics that retrieves the results of the patients having been treated here after one week, three months and afterwards yearly and that analyzes its data annually. The Martini-Klinik hires four employees to organise this - a service that is not included in most of the other surgical clinic's budgets. Results concerning the rate of cure, continence and virility are shown here. These results can be explained to every patient based on his tumor's individual characteristics. 

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