Brachytherapy for Breast Cancer

Accelerated partial breast radiation therapy, otherwise known as intracavitary brachytherapy, is different from whole breast radiation. The treatment is delivered to only part of the breast, in the area where the tumor was removed.

This is being studied at several institutions, including SUNY Upstate/University Hospital. Your doctor will decide if you qualify for this type of treatment, or if you are eligible to participate in one of the clinical trials.

A specially designed balloon catheter is placed at the time of surgery (lumpectomy) or shortly after, and prior to any chemotherapy. Radiation is delivered twice daily for 5 days, and takes less than half an hour. The procedure is painless. The catheter can be easily removed by deflating the balloon in the office. At Upstate, there are two techniques to deliver the accelerated partial breast radiation therapy.

MammoSite

The MammoSite catheter brachytherapy system is a single catheter with a balloon on the end which is implanted into the breast where the tumor was removed. The catheter is connected to a machine to deliver a radiation dose. The radiation oncologist directs a special computer to guide a small radioactive seed inside the catheter which remains in the site for only a few minutes per treatment. Once the therapy is completed, the radioactive seed is removed. For more information on MammoSite, please visit MammoSite External link.

Contura

The Contura balloon catheter has several openings within its single catheter for the radiation source to be positioned. The balloon end of the catheter is implanted into the breast where the tumor was removed. The catheter is connected to a machine to deliver a radiation dose. The radiation oncologist directs a special computer to guide a small radioactive seed inside the catheter which remains in the site for only a few minutes per treatment. Once the therapy is completed, the radioactive seed is removed. For more information on Contura, please visit: SenoRx Contura External link.

For more information, call Upstate Connect at 315 464-8668 or TOLL FREE: 800 464-8668, or you may contact us directly at 315 464-5276.