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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1999 Feb 1;43(3):571-8.

Use of three-dimensional radiation therapy planning tools and intraoperative ultrasound to evaluate high dose rate prostate brachytherapy implants.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, MI 48073, USA.



We performed a pilot study to evaluate the quality of high dose rate (HDR) prostate implants using a new technique combining intraoperative real-time ultrasound images with a commercially available 3-dimensional radiation therapy planning (3D RTP) system.


Twenty HDR prostate implants performed by four different physicians on a phase I/II protocol were evaluated retrospectively. Radiation therapy (RT) consisted of pelvic external beam RT (EBRT) to a dose of 46 Gy in 2-Gy fractions over 5 weeks and 2 HDR implants (prescribed dose of 950 cGy per implant). Our in-house real-time geometric optimization technique was used in all patients. Each HDR treatment was delivered without moving the patient. Ultrasound image sets were acquired immediately after needle placement and just prior to HDR treatment. The ultrasound image sets, needle and source positions and dwell times were imported into a commercial computerized tomography (CT) based 3D RTP system. Prostate contours were outlined manually caudad to cephalad. Dose-volume histograms (DVHs) of the prostate were evaluated for each implant.


Four patients with stage T2a carcinoma, 4 with stage T2b, and 3 with stage T1c were studied. The median number of needles used per implant was 16 (range 14-18). The median treated volume of the implant (volume of tissue covered by the 100% isodose surface) was 82.6 cc (range 52.6-96.3 cc). The median target volume based on the contours entered in the 3D RTP system was 44.83 cc (range 28.5-67.45 cc). The calculated minimum dose to the target volume was 70% of the prescribed dose (range 45-97%). On average 92% of the target volume received the prescribed dose (range 75-99 %). The mean homogeneity index (fraction of the target volume receiving between 1.0 to 1.5 times the prescribed dose) was 80% or 0.8 (range 0.55-0.9). These results compare favorably to recent studies of permanent implants which report a minimum target volume dose of 43% (range 29-50%) and an average of 85% of the target volume (range 76-92%) receiving the prescribed dose.


The feasibility of evaluating HDR prostate implants using ultrasound images (acquired immediately prior to treatment) with a commercially available 3D RTP system was established. The dosimetric characteristics of these HDR implants appear to be substantially different compared to permanent implants. These developments allow quantitative evaluation of the dosimetric quality of HDR prostate treatments. Future studies will examine any correlation between the dosimetric quality of the implant and clinical/biochemical outcomes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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