Bringing Brachy[therapy] Back

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Tom Avril recently reported on coronary brachytherapy, a technique to treat restenosis, a condition in which arteries of the heart become repeatedly clogged.

The procedure, which Avril explains had “fallen out of favor” for a time, has been recently looked to by cardiologists as an option for some patients. Jefferson is the only center to offer the procedure in Philadelphia. Cardiologist Michael Savage, radiation oncologist Robert Den, and their patient, Elaine Paparella Vandeputte, explained how the new treatment works and its impact on Elaine’s life.

Physician and patient looking at angiogram.

Dr. Savage shows Ms. Paparella Vandeputte the stenosis in her artery.

Paparella Vandeputte told the Inquirer, “I feel absolutely fantastic. It’s freezing, but I’m able to breathe…So thank you, Lord. I’m not complaining about the cold!”

Physicians treated Elaine’s stenosis with stents four times, but blockages recurred. During the coronary brachytherapy procedure, interventional cardiologists from the Jefferson Angioplasty Center and radiation oncologists from the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center treat the smooth-muscle cells inside the artery with radiation to clear the blockage.

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