The main indication of brachytherapy in the treatment of lung cancers is palliative therapy of significant, symptomatic endotracheal, or endobronchial symptoms as of bleeding, chronic cough refractory to medications, shortness of breath, atelectasis and obstructive pneumonias. Beyond that, in select cases, brachytherapy can be used as sole modality of therapy in patients unable to tolerate external radiation therapy and surgery in small to modrately large non samall cell lung cancers.
In the palliative setting, brachytherapy is delivered via a tube placed during bronchoscopy at the level of obstruction. This procedure require sedation or general anesthesia.
In the curative indication, trans-thoracic needle placement requires local or general anesthesia. The procedure is performed under CT guidance.