The patient classroom is meant to answer questions that are frequently asked
by patients about radiation therapy and brachytherapy
What is External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT)?
External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT) uses a machine called a linear accelerator or Linac to deliver high-energy rays or electrons from outside of the body into the tumor. Your cancer treatment team controls the size and shape of the beam, and how it is directed at your body to treat the tumor while sparing healthy tissue by using treatment planning computers and software. Most people get external beam radiation therapy over the course of several weeks through outpatient visits to a hospital or cancer treatment center.
What is Brachytherapy?
Internal radiation therapy uses a sealed source in a small holder called an implant. The implant is placed very close to or inside the tumor, so that it harms as few normal cells as possible. Internal Radiation Therapy allows a higher dose of radiation in a smaller area than might be possible with external radiation treatment. There are a few main types of brachytherapy: intracavity and interstitial. Both of these methods use radioactive implants such as pellets, seeds, ribbons, wires, needles, capsules, balloons, or tubes. With intracavity radiation, the radioactive source is placed in a cavity in the body, such as the rectum or uterus. With interstitial radiation, implants are placed in or near the tumor, but not in a body cavity.
Learn about our brachytherapy applicators
Anorectal Applicator (AR-1)™
The Ancer Medical AR™ is a first of its kind, disposable brachytherapy applicator designed specifically for the treatment of anal and rectal cancers. The AR™ combines unique innovations with proven brachytherapy technology to bring a new Ancer to the question of anorectal cancer treatment.
UNIQUE DEVICE DIMENSIONS
- 2.3 cm uninflated insertion diameter for ease of placement
- 8-10cm effective treatment zone allows treatment of entire rectum without repositioning
The Edge ERB™
The Edge ERB™ is a unique saddle shaped balloon designed to cradle the prostate and provide superior, repeatable immobilization. The thoughtful collection of design features promotes enhanced ease of use and accuracy during both therapy and treatment planning, giving you and your patients the EDGE in treating their prostate cancer.
THE EDGE FOR TREATMENT PLANNING
- Balloon peaks designed to prevent inferior/superior prostate migration
- Cradle design encourages predictable prostate location and limited gland distortion
Esophageal Applicator (E-APP)™
Esophageal brachytherapy is a procedure involving the use of radiation in a very selective way to target the affected area in the esophagus while sparing unaffected tissue unnecessary radiation exposure. Prior to placing the brachytherapy applicator, a surgeon will use an endoscope (a thin flexible tube with a camera at the tip) to identify the location of the tumor. Once that location has been determined, the brachytherapy applicator will be placed into the esophagus and inflated.
The inflation of the balloons will allow the applicator to be securely located in the center of the esophagus and a very accurate of delivery of the radiation dose.