Practical considerations in the selection of seed strength for prostate implants

Sarah Elliott, Catherine Beaufort, Jeremy Millar

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1 Citation (Scopus)


There are advantages in using lower numbers of higher activity seeds for prostate seed implants. This work investigated the use of higher strength seeds for our manually optimized prostate implants. Following a planning study using a range of seeds strengths between 0.4 U and 0.7 U, a series of patients were implanted using seeds of strength 0.7 U. Twenty consecutive patients were selected for this study; ten patients were implanted with 0.4 U seeds and the next ten patients implanted with 0.7 U seeds. Postimplant dosimetry for the target volume, urethra, and rectal wall was compared between the two groups. Our data showed a small and insignificant decrease in the total theatre time when implanting seeds of higher strength. The mean number of seeds required per implant decreased by over 30 for the 0.7 U implants, and the mean number of needles decreased by eight needles. The mean D90 ( ) was marginally lower for the 0.7 U group, and spread over a wider range of values. Doses to the rectal wall were slightly higher for the 0.7 U group. At six years postimplant, the symptom scores for urinary and rectal toxicity and erectile function were similar to those reported before brachytherapy, with little differences between the 0.4 U and 0.7 U groups. Our experiences and practical advice in the selection of seed strength for prostate implants are reported in this paper.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53 - 61
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of applied clinical medical physics [electronic resource] / American College of Medical Physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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