Ultrasound Guided Prostate Brachytherapy
Brachytherapy refers to a range of cancer treatment techniques that involve placing radioactive seeds or sources either in, or a short distance from, a tumor. These seeds emit a high radiation dose to the tumor while reducing the radiation exposure in the surrounding healthy tissues.
Brachytherapy has emerged as an effective, relatively low-cost treatment for certain cancers, resulting in low morbidity and good patience tolerance. Transrectal ultrasound scanning is used to guide seed placement within the prostate gland. The ability of transducers to image in both transverse and sagittal planes contributes to the accuracy of the brachytherapy technique.
Prostate Brachytherapy is a valid alternative to Radical Prostatectomy and External Beam radiotherapy for localised prostate cancer.
BK Medical is the World Leader in Ultrasound-guided Brachytherapy
We lead the field because we have dedicated development resources specifically to ultrasound-guided brachytherapy and have built up strong ties with the leading providers of brachytherapy seeds to the advantage of our customers who can purchase a complete 'brachytherapy package' for the prostate.
The 8848 transducer delivers confidence in precise prostate brachytherapy. Simultaneous biplane imaging (sagittal and transverse view), provides better orientation during needle placement and greater confidence in source placement in the prostate gland.
Methods of Prostate Brachytherapy:
- Low Dose Permanent Seed Implantation or
- High Dose Rate (HDR) temporary brachytherapy
Low Dose Permanent
Permanent seed implants involve injecting a number of radioactive seeds into the prostate gland. They give off their radiation at a low dose rate over several weeks or months. The seeds remain in the prostate gland permanently.
High Dose Rate (HDR) Temporary
HDR temporary brachytherapy involves placing tiny plastic catheters into the prostate gland to facilitate radiation treatments. A computer-controlled machine injects single, highly radioactive iridium seeds and controls the duration that the seed should remain in the catheters. This technique makes it possible to control the dose in different regions of the prostate. The tumour can then be given a higher dose than the unaffected areas of the gland, sparing the rectum and urethra radiation exposure. Modifying the dose is a major advantage of temporary versus permanent seed implantation. Once the catheters are removed, no radioactive material is left in the prostate gland.
Planning Seed Placement with Varian Interface
VariSeed™ 8.0 is brachytherapy seed planning software, which provides clear visibility of the positions of individual seeds during permanent seed implantation. VariSeed™ is an integrated piece of our brachytherapy solution, and provides seamless workflow with unsurpassed imaging capabilities. Contact Varian to purchase VeriSeed™.
Beneficial features of VariSeed™ 8.0 Include:
- Easier contouring and volume measurements
- Identical images displayed on the system and computer
- Automatic calibration
- A zoom function that retains calibration
- Image and contouring information transfer
To learn more about the benefits of VariSeed visit Varian Medical Systems.
All the Tools Needed for Brachytherapy
A transducer is used together with a stepping unit and a matrix template to guide needle placement during seed implantation during brachytherapy.
- flex Focus system with the 8848
- Stepper (CMS Accused, Civco classic, or Civco EXII tracked).
- Matrix template
- Varian interface