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Ultrasound Guidance for Prostate Brachytherapy

Ultrasound Guidance for Prostate Brachytherapy

Brachytherapy has emerged as an effective and relatively low-cost treatment for certain prostate cancers, resulting in low morbidity, potential convenience of a single-day outpatient procedure, and high patient tolerability. Biplane transrectal ultrasound scanning is essential in accurately guiding seed placement directly into the prostate gland. The ability of transducers to image in both transverse and sagittal planes contributes to the accuracy of the brachytherapy technique.

Market Leaders for Ultrasound-Guided Brachytherapy

BK Medical is a leader in the field of ultrasound-guided brachytherapy because we have dedicated our development resources to this cancer treatment and have established strong ties with the leading providers of brachytherapy seeds. As a result, we have a complete “brachytherapy package for the prostate” to offer our customers.

The Endocavity Biplane transducer delivers confidence in precise prostate brachytherapy. Simultaneous biplane imaging (sagittal and transverse view) provides better orientation during needle placement and greater confidence in source placement in the prostate gland.

Methods of Prostate Brachytherapy:

Prostate brachytherapy can be delivered in two different ways:

  • Permanent seed implants using iodine or palladium seeds (low-dose rate, or LDR)
  • Temporary removable implants with iridium wires (high-dose rate, or HDR)

Low-Dose Permanent

Low-dose brachytherapy is most frequently used in low-risk patients. Based on the volume of the prostate, generally between 70 and 150 radioactive seeds are preloaded into needles and inserted into the prostate. After the seeds are deployed into the gland, the needles are removed. The seeds remain in the prostate permanently, with radioactive decay times of 60 days for iodine-125 and for 17 days for palladium-103.

High-Dose Rate (HDR) Temporary

In patients with intermediate and high-risk prostate cancers, there is increasing dosimetric and clinical evidence for the efficacy of high-dose-rate prostate brachytherapy. This can be delivered as a radiation boost combined with external beam radiotherapy or as monotherapy. HDR brachytherapy permits delivery of a large radiation dose to the prostate in a small number of treatment doses (fractions).

HDR temporary brachytherapy involves placing tiny plastic catheters into the prostate gland to facilitate radiation treatments. A computer-controlled machine injects single, highly radioactive iridium seeds and controls the duration that the seed should remain in the catheters. This technique makes it possible to control the radiation dose in different regions of the prostate. The tumor can receive a dose that is higher than the unaffected areas of the gland, sparing the rectum and urethra radiation exposure. The ability to modify the dose is a major advantage of temporary versus permanent seed implantation. Once the catheters are removed, no radioactive material is left in the prostate gland.

Planning Seed Placement with Varian Interface

VariSeed™ 8.0 is brachytherapy seed planning software that provides clear visibility of the positions of individual seeds during permanent seed implantation. VariSeed is an integrated piece of our brachytherapy solution, and provides seamless workflow with unsurpassed imaging capabilities. Contact Varian to purchase VariSeed.

Beneficial Features of VariSeed 8.0 Include:

  • Easier contouring and volume measurements
  • Identical images displayed on the system and computer
  • Automatic calibration
  • A zoom function that retains calibration
  • Image and contouring information transfer


To learn more about the benefits of VariSeed, visit Varian Medical Systems.

BK Medical Systems


  • Next-level imaging quality
  • Customizable interface with intuitive Tru-Sense™ touch technology
  • Adjustable monitor for optimal viewing in landscape/portrait mode
  • Advanced portfolio of sterilizable transducers
  • Minimal system footprint for seamless integration into a crowded OR


  • Ultra high-resolution ultrasound system for urology
  • Exceptional prostate imaging
  • Premium kidney, bladder, and testes imaging
  • Fully adjustable and customizable
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  • Detailed Image Quality
  • Customized Workflow
  • Custom-Fit Clinical Design
  • Access to BK’s Advanced Urology Transducer Portfolio
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