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Open Access Research

Assessment of I-125 seed implant accuracy when using the live-planning technique for low dose rate prostate brachytherapy

Joshua Moorrees1*, John M Lawson1 and Loredana G Marcu123

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medical Physics, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, North Terrace, SA, 5000, Australia

2 Faculty of Science, University of Oradea, Oradea, 410087, Romania

3 School of Chemistry and Physics, University of Adelaide, North Terrace, Adelaide, SA, 5000, Australia

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Radiation Oncology 2012, 7:196  doi:10.1186/1748-717X-7-196

Published: 22 November 2012

Abstract

Background

Low risk prostate cancers are commonly treated with low dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy involving I-125 seeds. The implementation of a ‘live-planning’ technique at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) in 2007 enabled the completion of the whole procedure (i.e. scanning, planning and implant) in one sitting. ‘Live-planning’ has the advantage of a more reliable delivery of the planned treatment compared to the ‘traditional pre-plan’ technique (where patient is scanned and planned in the weeks prior to implant). During live planning, the actual implanted needle positions are updated real-time on the treatment planning system and the dosimetry is automatically recalculated. The aim of this investigation was to assess the differences and clinical relevance between the planned dosimetry and the updated real-time implant dosimetry.

Methods

A number of 162 patients were included in this dosimetric study. A paired t-test was performed on the D90, V100, V150 and V200 target parameters and the differences between the planned and implanted dose distributions were analysed. Similarly, dosimetric differences for the organs at risk (OAR) were also evaluated.

Results

Small differences between the primary dosimetric parameters for the target were found. Still, the incidence of hotspots was increased with approximately 20% for V200. Statistically significant increases were observed in the doses delivered to the OAR between the planned and implanted data; however, these increases were consistently below 3% thus probably without clinical consequences.

Conclusions

The current study assessed the accuracy of prostate implants with I-125 seeds when compared to initial plans. The results confirmed the precision of the implant technique which RAH has in place. Nevertheless, geographical misses, anatomical restrictions and needle displacements during implant can have repercussions for centres without live-planning option if dosimetric changes are not taken into consideration.

Keywords:
Prostate; Brachytherapy; I-125; Dosimetry; Real-time planning