Beyond the Abstract - Photoacoustic imaging of prostate brachytherapy seeds, by Richard R. Bouchard

BERKELEY, CA ( - As reported in a recent paper in Biomedical Optics Express,

our collaboration between M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and the Biomedical Engineering department at the University of Texas at Austin has shown that photoacoustic (PA) imaging has the potential to allow for drastically improved visualization of conventional, non-modified, prostate brachytherapy seeds (with up to 28-dB contrast improvements over conventional ultrasound observed) during brachytherapy placement procedures. Given the increased optical absorption of metallic seeds over endogenous tissue, PA imaging provides drastically improved contrast against the backdrop of prostate tissue, which experiences significantly reduced optical absorption. The ability to visualize individual seeds during seed placement could allow for intraoperative dynamic dose optimization, which would permit the clinician to implement an adaptive treatment plan in real time.


In an effort to translate this technology to the clinic, we are currently working on incorporating this PA imaging technology into a transrectal-imaging probe. The integrated probe will include a light delivery system – to irradiate the prostate and create a PA signal at a seed’s location – as well as an ultrasound-imaging array – to allow for combined ultrasound and PA imaging. With the successful development of this imaging probe, it is our intention to attempt to image brachytherapy seeds during an in vivo placement procedure in a large-animal model. These PA-imaging-derived seed positions will then be compared to a post-operative “gold standard” seed distribution obtained from X-ray computed tomography.



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Richard R. Bouchard as part of Beyond the Abstract on This initiative offers a method of publishing for the professional urology community. Authors are given an opportunity to expand on the circumstances, limitations etc... of their research by referencing the published abstract.

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