Brachytherapy has been a standard treatment for prostate cancer for many years. Brachytherapy is a special form of internal radiation therapy where a radioactive source is placed in the prostate gland to deliver radiation to small areas over a period of time.
Focal brachytherapy is using the same technique, however is a highly targeted technique as it places the radioactive source into only the tumour itself instead of the whole prostate, preserving the rest of the prostate gland.
Standard treatments using surgery or radiation therapy can cause side effects which can heavily impact a man’s quality of life e.g. erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence, bowel urgency. This new treatment means side effects that are commonly seen in treating the whole prostate are kept to a minimum, preserving patients’ quality of life.
Focal therapy follows the same principle as what has become standard of care in breast cancer. In the past, all breast cancers were treated by radical mastectomy (removal of the entire breast). Now it is standard for small breast tumours to be removed by lumpectomy only, preserving all remaining normal breast tissue.
Focal brachytherapy is a truly multidisciplinary treatment utilising a highly experienced urologic surgeon, radiation oncologist, radiologist and pathologist.