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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2011 Sep 1;81(1):297-304. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2010.10.060. Epub 2011 Apr 30.

Moving toward focal therapy in prostate cancer: dual-isotope permanent seed implants as a possible solution.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23298-0058, USA.



To compare the ability of single- and dual-isotope prostate seed implants to escalate biologically effective dose (BED) to foci of disease while reducing prescription dose to the prostate.


Nine plans, using 125I, 103Pd, and 131Cs alone and in combination were created retrospectively for 2 patients. Ultrasound and MRI/MRS datasets were used for treatment planning. Voxel-by-voxel BED was calculated for single- and dual-isotope plans. Equivalent uniform BED (EUBED) was used to compare plans. The MRS-positive planning target volumes (PTVi) were delineated along with PTV (prostate+5 mm), rectum, and urethra. Single-isotope implants, prescribed to conventional doses, were generated to achieve good PTV coverage. The PTVi were prospectively used to generate implants using mixtures of isotopes. For mixed-radioisotope implants, we also explored the impact on EUBED of lowering prescription doses by 15%.


The EUBED of PTVi in the setting of primary 125I implant increased 20-66% when 103Pd and 131Cs were used compared with 125I boost. Decreasing prescription dose by 15% in mixed-isotope implants results in a potential 10% reduction in urethral EUBED with preservation of PTV coverage while still boosting PTVi (up to 80%). When radiobiologic parameters corresponding to more-aggressive disease are assigned to foci, faster-decaying isotopes used in mixed implants have the potential to preserve the equivalent biological effect of mono-isotope implants considering less-aggressive disease distributed in the entire prostate.


This is a hypothesis-generating study proposing a treatment paradigm that could be the middle ground between whole-gland irradiation and focal-only treatment. The use of two isotopes concurrent with decreasing the minimal peripheral dose is shown to increase EUBED of selected subvolumes while preserving the therapeutic effect at the level of the gland.

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