Brachytherapy: A Comprehensive Review

  • Received : 2021.04.12
  • Accepted : 2021.05.17
  • Published : 2021.06.30


Brachytherapy, along with external beam radiation therapy (EBRT), is an essential and effective radiation treatment process. In brachytherapy, in contrast to EBRT, the radiation source is radioisotopes. Because these isotopes can be positioned inside or near the tumor, it is possible to protect other organs around the tumor while delivering an extremely high-dose of treatment to the tumor. Brachytherapy has a long history of more than 100 years. In the early 1900s, the radioisotopes used for brachytherapy were only radium or radon isotopes extracted from nature. Over time, however, various radioisotopes have been artificially produced. As radioisotopes have high radioactivity and miniature size, the application of brachytherapy has expanded to high-dose-rate brachytherapy. Recently, advanced treatment techniques used in EBRT, such as image guidance and intensity modulation techniques, have been applied to brachytherapy. Three-dimensional images, such as ultrasound, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and positron emission tomography are used for accurate delineation of treatment targets and normal organs. Intensity-modulated brachytherapy is anticipated to be performed in the near future, and it is anticipated that the treatment outcomes of applicable cancers will be greatly improved by this treatment's excellent dose delivery characteristics.



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