Lung Brachytherapy

Lung I-125 Seed Implant (Intraoperative Brachytherapy)

Intraoperative brachytherapy is sometimes used for treatment of lung cancer in select patients. This involves implantation of radioactive I-125 seeds during wedge resection or segmentectomy surgery for lung cancer. An intraoperative seed implant allows for a concentrated dose of radiation to be given directly to the surgically resected tumor margin, thereby sparing more normal lung tissue and minimizing side effects. The radiation oncologist works closely with the cardio-pulmonary surgeon to coordinate this treatment.

The side effects related to the actual implant are minimal. I-125 capsules give off a low dose of radiation over a period of six months. The number of seeds used for each implant varies per patient and amount of radioactivity will vary. Patients are provided with more information at the time of consultation.

Lung/Endobronchial Brachytherapy

Lung/Endobronchial brachytherapy is used to treat cancerous growths that are obstructing the major airway (bronchus). Endobronchial brachytherapy helps to shrink the tumor and relieve symptoms.

This type of brachytherapy is done under light anesthesia. A typical treatment may take between 5 to 20 minutes. The patient will remain at Memorial Medical Center for a period of recovery prior to discharge. The number of treatments given is determined by the radiation oncologist.