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Comput Med Imaging Graph. 1989 May-Jun;13(3):269-74.

Computer applications to radioactive-seed: brain-tumor implants.

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Department of Therapeutic Radiology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06510.


Malignant brain tumors, in general, and anaplastic astrocytoma and glioblastoma multiforme in particular, have been highly refractory to conventional treatments including surgery, chemotherapy and external-beam irradiation. Although better local control can be achieved with high-dose, external beam irradiation, necrosis of normal brain tissue reduces the quality of life and survival. In order to localize the radiation dose given to brain tumors, the temporary implantation of 125I and 192Ir seeds is undergoing clinical trials at several medical centers. Computers play a key role in this treatment modality: in addition to being essential for image reconstruction of CT scans, a computer is used to reconstruct a tumor volume from outlined regions on individual cuts; a programable calculator is used in conjunction with a stereotaxic head holder to obtain the coordinates of the radioactive seeds; a radiation-therapy, treatment-planning computer is used to optimize the radioactive-seed positions and strengths, and to generate the corresponding dose distribution.

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