About the book
Brachytherapy is the careful placement of radioactive sources in or just next to the treatment region. The term 'Brachy' therapy, which is a special form of radiation therapy, is derived from ancient Greek words, which means ‘short distance' therapy, referring to the distance between the radioactive source and the treatment target. In this radiotherapy method, a radioactive source is placed inside/on the treatment target. It is also known as internal radiotherapy, sealed source radiotherapy or Curietherapy. Brachytherapy takes advantage of the inverse-square law, which results in a high dose concentration around the radiation source and a rapid fall-off away from the source with distance. Depending on the dose rate of the radiation source, brachytherapy is classified into three categories: high dose rate (HDR), medium dose rate (MDR) and low dose rate (LDR), and each uses different radioactive sources. In all categories, the main purpose of radiotherapy is controlling cancer treatment and reducing side effects for patients. To obtain a good clinical result, one must assure to maximize the dose received by tumor mass and surrounding volume which is at risk of the tumor micro-extensions while minimizing the dose received by the healthy tissue. This can be obtained by accurate dose measurement which is essential to verify accurate treatment planning and equipment performance, and also for the generation of data that can inform radiation protection approaches in the future.
This book introduces brachytherapy, its clinical and physical aspects, and its role in the management of cancer. It also aims to describe the equipment, applicators, and standards used for various brachytherapy techniques and explores some of the most common sources used for brachytherapy as well as their therapeutic applications. It also presents principles of brachytherapy dosimetry and the dose calculations for permanent implants, temporary implants, remote after-loading systems, and localization techniques. Radiation protection issues in brachytherapy, calculation methods, optimization, and quality assurance will be also presented.