Head and neck brachytherapy

Why brachytherapy for head and neck cancers?

  • Brachytherapy is an important and successful part of the multidisciplinary treatment of head and neck cancers
  • Can be used as a standalone treatment to destroy cancer cells or in combination with external beam radiation therapy
  • Valuable also for salvage treatments
Doctor and patient

Connectivity to MOSAIQ® OIS

Confidence for you and your patients

  • Contributes to paperless brachytherapy workflow information
  • Perform dose tracking based on the treatment plan and treatment record for the selected and verified patient
  • Automated scheduling and billing process
  • Documented dose and structure sets
  • Automatically exchange head and neck cancer treatment plans created with Oncentra Brachy and treatment records generated by the afterloader
  • Provide a more efficient and electronic way to capture information that will be included in the patient’s Continuity of Care Document (CCD), data as required for meaningful use (Stage 1 and beyond)
Doctors discussing patient treatment plans

Applicator selection for radiation therapy

Diagnostic imaging guides the applicator choice

Head and neck applicators

Our wide array of applicators are available for many applications to treat cancer, the Nasopharyngeal applicator and different sizes of flexible catheters with corresponding buttons can be used for different head and neck body areas.

View applicator guide
Nasopharyngeal applicator

Applicator insertion

Rotterdam Nasopharyngeal Mold Applicator Optimal dose shaping in nasopharyngeal cavities. The Rotterdam nasopharyngeal mold is manufactured from a flexible silicone material to easily shape the radiation dose in the nasopharyngeal cavity. It consists of two channels on the upper surface to optimize the dose distribution and reduce the surface dose. The mold can remain in place for a series of treatment fractions, while the treatment catheters will be replaced per fraction. This way, patient discomfort between fractions is minimized.

Intracavitary Mold Applicator Set

Why the Rotterdam nasopharyngeal mold applicator for cancer treatments?

  • Easily conforms to a range of nasopharyngeal cavity sizes
  • Dual-channel design for optimized dose distribution
  • Quick catheter reinsertion for follow-up fractions


Determine applicator position relative to tumor and OAR

Image data set for treatment planning is obtained through X-ray, CT or MR imaging. The image quality determines the applicator visibility for correct reconstruction. It also gives the anatomy landscape which shows the tumor and the OAR.

X-ray image of flexible catheters with X-ray markers

“I wanted an applicator that was easy to use, did not require a general anesthetic and that would closely conform to the mucosa of the nasopharynx. I found it in the Rotterdam nasopharyngeal applicator.”

Prof. Dr. P. Levendag (1949-2018), Daniel den Hoed Clinic Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Treatment planning for head and neck cancer

Homogeneous dose delivery on the target while sparing the OAR

Oncentra Brachy

Comprehensive treatment planning software

Designing the optimal dose distribution can be a time-consuming job. The latest version of Oncentra Brachy offers a series of useful tools that simplify many repetitive tasks, such as contouring and reconstruction. Oncentra Brachy buys you time to focus on what counts: creating the optimal dose distribution.

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Reduce implant reconstruction time

  • Instant applicator reconstruction in relation to anatomy
  • Contains the complete geometry of Elekta's gynecological applicators
  • Includes the measured source paths of ring applicators
  • Accounts for dose attenuation resulting from shielding during planning and shields are fully visible

Dose distribution calculated by ACE

  • Algorithm based on the TG-186 recommendations published by the AAPM workgroup in 2012
  • Discriminates between tissue, air and bone
  • Accounts for tissue heterogeneities, lack of backscatter from areas with no tissue, applicator attenuation and shielding

Implant modeling tool

  • Reconstruct multicatheter implants immediately
  • Drag & Drop 3D applicator geometry for accurate and fast reconstruction
  • Extra Coordinate System (ECS) allows quick and easy navigation to the correct plane views

Automatic dose optimization


  • Paired with the Dwell Time Deviation Constraint (DTDC)
  • Limits high variation in dwell times


  • Improves plan optimization with Dwell Time Gradient Restriction (DTGR)
  • Control high and low peaks in dwell times
  • Focus optimization where it is needed with needle locking

Treatment delivery

Safe, simple, intuitive brachytherapy workflow

Five simple features are the basis for the Flexitron way of working, introducing a new standard in treatment delivery

  • Standardized transfer lengths, less prone to human errors during reconstruction as there is only one indexer length.
  • Reference zero at entrance of applicator, no need to measure the distal tip.
  • Metric dwell position numbering, 1 mm step size in a treatment window of 400 mm.
  • Forward stepping results in a reproducible source positioning within 0.5 mm accuracy
  • Intuitive user interface, smooth navigation saves time.

Why Flexitron?

  • Simple quality assurance
  • 40-channel option for large implants
  • Connected to major oncology systems such as MOSAIQ®
  • Safe investment with future upgrade potential
  • Available in either Iridium-192 or Cobalt-60*

* Not available in all countries.

Patient out

Find out about brachytherapy for other body regions

What our customers say

Chris Lee, MPE at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, UK, on Flexitron


Empowering through education

Peer-to-peer education platform for brachytherapy professionals

The BrachyAcademy comprises a complete peer-to-peer medical education library and includes programs such as clinical workshops and training visits to leading hospitals worldwide.

Learn more
BrachyAcademy students sitting around a table Elekta BrachyAcademy logo

about brachytherapy

Screenshot of About Brachytherapy homepage

We've created our online educational brachytherapy portal for patients and those who are supporting patients throughout their curative treatment, to provide key information and to help those affected gain an understanding of brachytherapy.

Visit about brachytherapy

By your side

Elekta Care is your partner for success. Our people and technology keep you running reliably and efficiently while helping you to optimize outcomes and grow your practice. We are by your side to support you now and deliver a lifetime of high performance and progress.

Elekta Care