Brachytherapy using small implanted radioactive seeds is becoming an increasingly popular method for treating prostate cancer, in which a radiation oncologist implants seeds in the prostate transperineally under ultrasound guidance.
Dosimetry software determines the optimal placement of seeds for achieving the prescribed dose based on ultrasonic determination of the gland boundaries. However, because of prostate movement and distortion during the implantation procedure, some seeds may not be placed in the desired locations; this causes the delivered dose to differ from the prescribed dose. Current ultrasonic imaging methods generally cannot depict the implanted seeds accurately. We are investigating new ultrasonic imaging methods that show promise for enhancing the visibility of seeds and thereby enabling real-time detection and correction of seed-placement errors during the implantation procedure. Real-time correction of seed-placement errors will improve the therapeutic radiation dose delivered to target tissues. In this work, we compare the potential performance of a template-matching method and a previously published method based on singular spectrum analysis for imaging seeds. In particular, we evaluated how changes in seed angle and position relative to the ultrasound beam affect seed detection. The conclusion of the present study is that singular spectrum analysis has better sensitivity but template matching is more resistant to false positives; both perform well enough to make seed detection clinically feasible over a relevant range of angles and positions. Combining the information provided by the two methods may further reduce ambiguities in determining where seeds are located.
Alam S, Mamou J, Feleppa E, Kalisz A, Ramachandran S. Are you the author?
Reference: IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control. 2011 Nov;58(11):2484-91.