Prostate brachytherapy is a radical method of treatment in which the malignant tumour is destroyed by a radiofrequency source implanted into the prostate. It creates a powerful impact on the tumour, with minimal damage to healthy tissues. The specialists of JSC "Medicina" (Academician Roytberg Clinic) have at their disposal the high-tech gamma-therapy unit "GammaMed", which uses a high activity source "Iridium-192". This equipment ensures effective treatment.
Brachytherapy is primarily indicated for patients diagnosed with prostate cancer. It can be used as a standalone treatment or it can be combined with other methods. Thus the following requirements must be followed:
- the volume of the prostate gland - not more than 60 cubic centimetres;
- absence of metastases;
- absence of inflammatory processes in the large intestine.
This methodology has a number of indisputable advantages:
- as a rule, a single course is enough - repeated implantation of a radiofrequency source may be required only in case of relapse of the oncological disease;
- it does not take much time - hospitalisation for only 2 days is necessary;
- fast rehabilitation - patients can return to their usual activities almost immediately after leaving the hospital, they only need to observe some restrictions, which their doctors will tell them about;
- high efficiency - up to 96;
- low relapse probability - not more than 20%;
- minimal chance of complications - not more than 5%;
- preservation of sexual functioning.
First of all, preparation for brachytherapy is a comprehensive examination. It consists of:
- general analysis of urine and blood;
- blood group test;
- some testings for sexually transmitted infections: HIV, hepatitis and syphilis;
- MRI with a contrast agent.
The doctor may prescribe additional examinations based on the patient's individual characteristics. Patients should also shave off the hair in the groyne area before treatment.
How is the treatment carried out?
The success of therapy depends on many factors, including the accuracy of calculation of the required dose of radiation exposure and the choice of area for the implementation of the radiofrequency source. The dose can be either low or high. It is determined according to the size of the tumour and its degree of aggressiveness.
The therapy is performed in the operating theatre. The patient is comfortably placed on the couch. The insertion area is treated with antiseptics, after which anaesthesia is applied. This can be spinal anaesthesia or general one - the specific decision is determined according to the individual characteristics of the patient and his/her wishes.
Radioactive grains are injected into the prostate using a special needle. The insertion procedure is monitored by an ultrasound sensor.
The procedure lasts about 2.5 hours. It is performed without pain or significant discomfort.