Date: 22 Apr 2008

Radioactive seed immobilization techniques for interstitial brachytherapy

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In prostate brachytherapy, seeds can detach from their deposited sites and move locally in the pelvis or migrate to distant sites including the pulmonary and cardiac regions. Undesirable consequences of seed migration include inadequate dose coverage of the prostate and tissue irradiation effects at the site of migration. Thus, it is clinically important to develop seed immobilization techniques.


We first analyze the possible causes for seed movement, and propose three potential techniques for seed immobilization: (1) surgical glue, (2) laser coagulation and (3) diathermy coagulation. The feasibility of each method is explored. Experiments were carried out using fresh bovine livers to investigate the efficacy of seed immobilization using surgical glue.


Results have shown that the surgical glue can effectively immobilize the seeds. Evaluation of the radiation dose distribution revealed that the non-immobilized seed movement would change the planned isodose distribution considerably; while by using surgical glue method to immobilize the seeds, the changes were negligible.


Prostate brachytherapy seed immobilization is necessary and three alternative mechanisms are promising for addressing this issue. Experiments for exploring the efficacy of the other two proposed methods are ongoing. Devices compatible with the brachytherapy procedure will be designed in future.