Monday, June 24, 2024

Cambridge’s Mount Auburn Hospital says it has a cancer therapy that cuts three days of treatment down to 10 minutes.

A cancer therapy introduced last month at Mount Auburn Hospital reduces treatment time to 10 minutes from three days, officials at the hospital said.

As a result, patients no longer have to remain still for extended periods during the therapy and can avoid precautionary steps such as having an enema and a catheter and eating a special, restrictive diet. There are also fewer side effects, officials said. The therapy, called High Dose Rate Brachytherapy, is used for gynecological cancer and will soon be expanded for treatment of breast cancer.

Results have also been good with prostate cancer and keloid scars, according to trial results published in cancer journals. The Stanford Medicine Cancer Center, in California, allows patients with head and neck, gynecological and pulmonary cancers as well as other regional tumors on a case-by-case basis.

“This approach to cancer treatment allows us to deliver treatment more efficiently and safely,” said Dr. Anthony Abner, chief of radiation oncology at the hospital. The treatment is in place at a handful of other hospitals in the area, and Mount Auburn has been using it with several patients.

“So far the results have been right on course with traditional methods, and the patients’ comfort levels have been far greater,” Abner said.

Brachytherapy is the use of short-range radiation sources implanted in the body. The high dose-rate version allows precise doses of radiation under computer control.

This post was written from a press release.