India’s first permanent seed implant for the treatment of early-stage prostate cancer

The permanent seed implant for the treatment of early-stage prostate cancer is the novel technique helps doctors to deliver high doses of radiation to the prostate gland. The capabilities developed after the successful completion of this procedure will now help doctors to treat early stage prostate cancer patients with radioactive iodine seeds apart from the existing technologies.

To treat prostate cancer through a pin hole surgery, permanent seed implants comprising of radioactive Iodine-125 have been used by a team of highly skilled and qualified doctors . Performed under ultrasound guidance via the transrectal route, this procedure allows patients to get treated the same day and return to normal work in a short span of time.

Iodine-125 seeds used in this procedure are low attenuating radioactivity seeds and do not pose any risk to the family members of the patient and become biologically inert after ten months. The number of seeds and their exact location is decided by a computer-generated plan and seeds to be implanted are calculated in real time for each procedure.

Early stage cancer patients whose cancer is contained within prostate respond best to this type of procedure. If the cancer has invaded surrounding tissues or structures like the bladder or rectum, then this technique would not be appropriate.

How it was performed?

While conducting this procedure, the patient under consideration is offered general or spinal anaesthesia and the legs of the patient are elevated and padded carefully and the ultrasound probe is inserted into the rectum which remains in place throughout the procedure helping surgeons to take images of the prostate.

Thereafter the needles containing the radioactive seeds are inserted in the perineum and into the prostate using ultrasound guidance. The needles are subsequently removed leaving only the radioactive seeds behind. This pinhole procedure

Eliminates the need for any kind of surgical incision or cutting and leaves no scar on the patient.Through this procedure, the treatment time is reduced to maximum one day instead of the previously required eight weeks of radiation therapy. Confirming this development . This pinhole procedure called as low dose rate brachytherapy or permanent brachytherapy uses implants that are about the size of a grain of rice and are inserted directly into the tumour with the help of thin hollow needles. These implants are left in place after the radiation has been used up and their small size causes little or no discomfort. This kind of intervention for localised prostate cancer has never been tried before in India

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