Case Studies from WellSpring Cancer Center
High Dose Rate (HDR) Case Study
- Published: 08 June 2012
New HDR Skin Cancer Treatment Reduces Treatment Time to 6 Days
HDR or high dose rate
- WellSpring Oncology has launched a new technology to treat skin cancer with radiation in just six days.
- HDR or high dose rate is a technique where skin cancer treatment is more accurate than conventional therapy and helps patients get back to their life sooner.
- HDR is also non-invasive and produces results equivalent to surgery with no side effects, scarring or hospital stay.
Treatment of skin cancer used to mean approximately 6 weeks of radiation therapy for patients and/or invasive surgery. Radiation has been used to treat common skin cancers (basal cell and squamous cell) for years, but recent improvements have created an increasing role for radiation in certain situations, as the following case study demonstrates.
The patient was an 84-year-old man in generally poor health, with chronic vascular changes in his lower extremities who developed a 1cm non-healing ulcer over the shin in his lower leg. A biopsy confirmed this to be squamous cell cancer. His dermatologist referred him to a plastic surgeon, but the surgeon was concerned about healing problems, the risk of infection and the problems associated with prolonged immobilization if a skin graft was necessary. He recommended the man consider radiation, but the patient was reluctant because of the need to come in daily for 6 weeks. He was evaluated by the Radiation Oncologist and found to be an ideal candidate for the HDR (high dose rate) technique where the radiation is completed in six visits (Monday, Wednesday and Friday over two weeks). He was treated using the flatLeipzig applicator which is placed over the lesion for approximately 8 minutes. He completed the treatments without incident and without the usual slow healing problems associated with more conventional therapies.