In the 1960’s, the permanent insertion of radioactive material into the prostate gland developed. Doctors tried the interstitial insertion of gold -198 or Iodine - 125 seeds into the prostate gland in conjunction with EBRT. Unfortunately, the success of these techniques was poor due to the inability to see the prostate gland and the surrounding organs. Not until around 1980’s, when doctors began to use a transperineal needle temple, transperineal needles, and the transrectal ultrasound, did Brachytherapy become a viable prostate cancer treatment.
Types Of Prostate Brachytherapy
There are two types of Brachytherapy that are used in the treatment of prostate cancer: Permanent Low Dose Radiation (LDR) and Temporary High Dose Radiation (HDR).
LDR Brachytherapy uses iodine -125 and palladium -103 stored in titanium cases, usually referred to as Brachytherapy Seeds. As the name Permanent Brachytherapy suggest, the seeds are permanently left inside the prostate gland. Over the course of their radioactive lives, the seeds will continuously emit low levels of radiation.
HDR Brachytherapy uses a single radioactive seed made of iridium -194, which is sometimes referred to as an iridium wire. Soft flexible plastic catheters are inserted through the perineum, and into the prostate gland. HDR Brachytherapy entails an overnight stay in the hospital, during which a patient undergoes two or three treatments with the wire through each catheter.