A precise determination of the indication and careful preparation are needed for brachytherapy.
In preparation for the procedure, we evaluate the case history and any diagnostic results already available, such as CT images, MRI scans and, if available, PET-CT scans (positron emission computed tomography). To this end, we request that a detailed medical history is provided, with a list of the treatments already applied, an indication of the progression of the disease, and the most up-to-date diagnostic images available.
Based on the documents supplied, we can check whether the most important requirements for brachytherapy are fulfilled. If this is the case, the patient will be invited for a further consultation and work-up at our outpatient clinic for minimally invasive tumour therapy. You can arrange an appointment for this by calling +49 (0)30 / 450 557 309.
We admit the patient to our unit for around three to four days for the treatment.
We generally avoid using general anaesthesia. Based on our experience, brachytherapy of the lungs is tolerated very well by most patients under local anaesthetic and a strong painkiller.
We initially introduce one or more special catheters directly into the tumour under CT guidance. Once the catheter is in place, we carry out a CT scan of the liver. This provides accurate details for the planning of the actual irradiation.
To avoid radiation-related complications such as burns to the skin or inflammation of the lining of the oesophagus, radiation-sensitive structures (such as the oesophagus and spinal cord) are taken into account during the treatment planning and during the actual radiation delivery itself.
After the treatment, the catheter is removed and the incision channel is sealed with a special tissue glue.
The entire procedure takes two to three hours. The actual exposure to radiation takes 10 to 50 minutes, depending on the size of the tumour.