Treatment of prostate continues to evolve as it reflects alterations in disease characteristics and technology advancements.
This particular form of prostate cancer therapy is not new. The first who described putting radioactive sources (Radium) in the prostate was Alexander Gram Bell in a letter dating back to the 1890’s. The first procedure reported was in 1913 by a French urologist and the first paper about brachytherapy was written in 1914, around the same period that the first radical prostatectomy was performed.
Brachytherapy is a Greek word and means short distance therapy. This is because radiation doesn’t travel the long distance needed when coming from an external source, but is emitted from sources that are placed in the prostate gland. This allows the delivery of high radiation doses in the prostate and low to the surrounding tissues and organs (rectum, urinary bladder and neurovascular bundles). Today, it is generally accepted that brachytherapy gives excellent results if performed by a specially trained team.