On 1st March 2016, British prostate cancer specialists Stephen Langley and Robert Laing oversaw the first 4D Brachytherapy™ treatment in Australia.
Brachytherapy treatment is suitable for men whose prostate cancer has not spread outside the prostate and has been successfully curing cancer for over 25 years. 4D Brachytherapy™ is a more recent version of LDR brachytherapy. It is a relatively new concept that was developed at St Luke’s Cancer Centre in Guildford where it has been used to treat around 350 patients each year.
4D Brachytherapy™ takes the efficiency and technology of low dose rate brachytherapy one step further. It combines the two stages of standard brachytherapy into one single procedure. It is much faster to perform and is believed to provide higher survival rates with fewer side effects.
The new technique uses scans and computer algorithms to tailor treatment to each individual patient, and to determine how many seeds should be used and where they should be placed. The seeds are loaded with radiation and are placed directly into the prostate gland using fine needles. The seeds remain in place for life, but their radiation gradually diminishes over 12 months. This highly targeted treatment means larger doses can be used than in traditional radiotherapy with less chance of surrounding tissue being damaged.
The procedure carried out in Hobart, Australia was deemed a success and It is hoped that this development will change the face of treatment for prostate cancer throughout the nation.