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Endocavitary Radiation Therapy

General

Endocavitary radiation therapy is given in addition to external radiation therapy for curative purposes, or alone for palliative purposes.

The tumor area is radiated using iridium which is programmed to take in pre-defined time intervals in the length of the target volume. The dosage rate and radiation time depend on the age of the iridium which has a half-life of 74 days. The iridium is changed every 3 months.

The effect of the endocavitary technique usually appears later than for stenting, but improves swallowing which will last the rest of the patient's life. The stent may be installed at a later time. Follow-up after radiation treatment is therefore important to assess who needs a stent.

In Norway, the Norwegian Radium Hospital is the only hospital performing endocavitary radiation treatment for esophageal cancer.

Indication

  • Tumor in the esophagus without tumor component in the stomach

Goal

  • Curative therapy in conjunction with external radiation treatment
  • Palliation

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