Permanent Seed Brachytherapy (PSB)
Prostate Cancer - Conquering Cancer
Seeds of Life
By implanting tiny radioactive capsules, Monmouth Medical Center pioneers
are helping men wage a tough new war against prostate cancer.
They resemble grains of rice, so small that dozens can be cupped in the
palm of your hand. But when these radioactive capsules are placed directly
into the prostate gland, they deliver a powerful punch against the second-leading
cause of cancer death among American men: prostate cancer. This innovative,
low-dose procedure, which is performed by a team of highly skilled urologist,
radiation oncologists and physicists, dramatically limits the radiation
dose to surrounding healthy tissue.
Since 1998, this pioneering radiation implant therapy, also called permanent
seed brachytherapy (PSB), has been performed at Monmouth Medical Center
in Long Branch, the region's top provider of state-of-the-art cancer
and urological services. And last year, Monmouth became the first hospital
in central New Jersey to offer real-time, dynamic, computer-assisted planning
for men with early-stage prostate cancer undergoing PSB.
PINPOINT ACCURACY The new VariSeed system produces 3-d images of the prostate while the
procedure is under way. The images are transmitted to a planning computer
in the operating room. A sophisticated software program then calculates
the number of seeds needed - and their precise placement - to deliver
the most effective dose.
REAL-TIME FEEDBACK "The intraoperative planning program is critical for identifying
the approach to be followed in placing the seeds," says Arnold Grebler,
M.D., chief of urology at Monmouth. "It also provides 'real-time'
dose calculation and dynamic feedback during the procedure."
"This significant advance allows us to immediately gauge the dose
to the prostate from the seeds as we are implanting them," says Adam
Raben, M.D., chairman of the Institute fro Advanced Radiation Oncology
at Monmouth. "It gives us a tremendous advantage in minimizing the
dose the urethra and the rectum while delivering the proper dose to the