Beaumont Hospital, Troy opens brachytherapy program to treat cancer

4/4/2014

Internal radiation therapy allows for higher total dose over a shorter period

Beaumont Health System’s Radiation Oncology department is expanding its brachytherapy program with a new location at Beaumont Hospital, Troy. The new site and its multidisciplinary medical team treat patients with breast, cervical, uterine, vaginal, head and neck and prostate cancers.

Gary Gustafson, M.D., chief, Radiation Oncology,
Beaumont, Troy confers with radiation oncologist
and brother, Gregory Gustafson, M.D.

“Beaumont has long been a pioneer in treating prostate and breast cancer using high-dose-rate brachytherapy,” says Gary Gustafson, M.D., chief, Radiation Oncology, Beaumont, Troy. “We’ve developed a reputation for innovative cancer treatment. Until recently, this type of advanced care was only available at Beaumont, Royal Oak, but now residents of northern Oakland and Macomb counties can find that treatment closer to home at Beaumont, Troy.”

Brachytherapy is a form of radiation therapy that involves placing a radioactive source within the patient’s body at the site of the cancer. The radioactive source used to destroy the cancer is delivered by devices. These devices are called implants.

Adds Dr. Gustafson, “Along with a state-of-the-art facility, equipment and a multidisciplinary team of experts, area cancer patients now have more treatment options.”

Compared to external beam therapy, brachytherapy allows for a high total dose of radiation over a short period of time. Since the radiation dose is centered around cancer cells, less damage is done to normal adjoining tissues and organs.

The new 1,500-square-foot brachytherapy facility is located on the lower level of Beaumont, Troy in the Radiation Oncology department near the west entrance of the hospital.

Usually, a person undergoing brachytherapy will be treated on an outpatient basis. “It’s important to note, patients do not leave the hospital with radioactivity within them,” says Dr. Gustafson.

Brachytherapy may be performed in combination with external beam radiation therapy to help destroy the main mass of tumor cells for certain types of cancer.

For more information on brachytherapy, call Beaumont’s Cancer Center at 877-232-8226.

Beaumont Radiation Oncology

Beaumont’s Radiation Oncology department is ranked among the nation’s best for advanced technology, innovative treatment and research. Advanced radiation treatments developed at Beaumont include adaptive radiation therapy, image-guided radiation therapy, high-dose rate brachytherapy and hyperthermia therapy. Find out more at cancer.beaumont.edu/radiation-oncology.