Radiotherapy is often used serially with surgery,
chemotherapy, and/or immunotherapy to control
or eliminate cancer.
CURATIVE radiotherapy seeks to completely eliminate
a cancer, particularly small cancers, as well as locally
advanced cancers as part of combination therapy.
NEOADJUVAN T radiotherapy is used to reduce or control
a cancer so that it can be subsequently treated by
a different method such as surgery.
ADJUVANT radiotherapy seeks to eliminate any remaining
cancer following prior treatment.
PALLIATIVE radiotherapy is used to reduce or control symptoms
of disease when cure by another method is not possible.
places small radioactive
sources in or next to the
tumor. There are two
forms of brachytherapy.
Permanent implantation inserts
into the tumor; (e.g., placement
the prostate for the
treatment of prostate
cancer or into the
tumor vasculature; see
Temporary placement of
radioactive sources. In one form
of this treatment, moderately
active sources are placed for 1
to 4 days (e.g., in the treatment
of soft-tissue sarcoma). In “high
dose–rate” brachytherapy, a
highly active source is inserted
for a few minutes (e.g.,
in the curative treatment
of cervical cancer).
or infusion of
are natural or synthetic
variations of elements
that are unstable and
rays as they stabilize,
as a therapeutic
antibody. For example,
the use of iodine- 131
to treat thyroid
cancer or yttrium- 90
(Zevalin) to treat non-Hodgkin lymphoma,
combines imaging with minimally invasive
techniques designed to treat cancer locally.
Chemoembolization is a process by which
are injected directly into the
tumor vasculature in order to
prevent blood flow and increase
the therapeutic concentration
to very high levels.
Cryoablation is a technique wherein needles are
directly inserted into the tumor and cooled to
very cold temperatures, causing tumor cell death.
High-intensity focused ultrasound applies high-intensity
focused ultrasound waves to locally heat and
Microwave ablation uses microwave
radiation to locally heat and
Radioembolization is the injection
of radioactive microspheres directly
into the tumor vasculature
(e.g., injection of yttrium- 90
microspheres into a liver tumor
via the hepatic artery).
Radiofrequency ablation is a
technique wherein needles are directly
inserted into the tumor and an electrical
current is used to heat the needle,
causing tumor cell death.
TYPES OF RADIOTHERAPY INTERVENTIONAL RADIOLOGY
USES OF RADIOTHERAPY