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Brachytherapy beyond prostate cancer: how Janis and Johns Hopkins addressed a stubborn metastatic brain tumor

There is growing evidence that certain types of recurrent tumors can be effectively treated with Cesium-131 brachytherapy, prolonging survival and improving quality of life at the same time.

Needless to say we read with great interest a story recently published by Johns Hopkins Medicine: Neurology and Neurosurgery, “Metastatic brain tumor: Janis’ story.” After enduring a craniotomy to remove a metastatic tumor resulting from a long battler with HER2-positive breast cancer, she also endured chemotherapy and multiple radiosurgery treatments. Despite those treatments, the metastatic breast cancer cells returned to her brain.

It was time for a new course of action.  When Janis was referred to the Comprehensive Brain Tumor Center at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Michael Lim, MD, and colleagues created a personalized treatment plan that included surgical removal of the recurrent tumor AND implantation of Cesium-131 seeds directly into the resected cavity in an attempt to prevent their return.

“Chemotherapy couldn’t reach the tumor in Janis’ brain, but with brachytherapy we can treat the area and keep the tumor from coming back in that spot,” Lim says. “This way we can prolong survival and enhance quality of life for patients.”

You can read more about Janis’ and Dr. Lim’s story here.

Related: Leading Brain Tumor Surgeon Cites Strong Clinical Value of Cesium-131 Brachythearpy.

“Using Cesium-131 brachytherapy was advantageous for several reasons,” shared Dr. Schwartz. ”The first is that that dose is essentially distributed in about 3 weeks. Patients don’t need to be isolated or worry about radiating people around them for a long period of time. Second, since the dose falls out very quickly, there’s very little exposure given to the surrounding normal brain tissue. Third is that the seeds start working immediately. And since the seeds are laid around the cavity that you’ve removed, they work directly on the area of interest right from the start.”

If you are a surgeon or radiation oncologist and would like to know more about the benefits of Cesium-131 brachytherapy for cancers of the brain, head and neck, gynecologic or prostate, contact

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with one of the aforementioned types of cancer, contact

Sex After Brachytherapy

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