Options for Prostate Cancer Treatment

Each patient diagnosed with prostate cancer is unique; most men have different needs and/or desires for their cancer treatment.  Memorial's Prostate Program offers several different treatment options for today's prostate cancer patient. Working with each patient and their Urologist, David Hornback, M.D., and Sam McGrath, M.D., will form an advanced treatment plan. Radiation treatment options include:

Prostate Seed Implant

One-time, minimally invasive, outpatient treatment procedure for early stage prostate cancer. Procedure involves permanently inserting approximately 60-90 tiny radioactive seeds into the prostate. Intense pre-planning is involved to accurately space seeds throughout the prostate gland, while avoiding exposure to sensitive structures like the urethra. Seeds are surgically inserted by a needle and placed using ultrasound guidance to ensure accuracy. Post-planning is also completed to verify positioning of each seed.

Prostate HDR

Sometimes used in conjuction with Prostate IMRT, this advanced brachytherapy technique is used to deliver a customized high dose of radiation to the prostate over a shorter period of time. First, several treatment catheters are surgically placed in the prostate. This is completed by Dr. Hornback or Dr. McGrath using one of Memorial's specialized operating rooms. Afterwards, the patient is brought down to the Radiation Oncology Brachytherapy suite where a CT scan is acquired to verify each needle's placement. Complex treatment planning is then done to calculate the exact exposure of radiation for each catheter. Once plan is complete and verified, each treatment catheter is connected to our HDR unit. Very small radioactive sources are sent through the catheters and stay in the prostate to deliver the prescribed dose of radiation. Once delivery is complete, radioactive sources are safely withdrawn back into HDR unit. 

Prostate IMRT

Prostate IMRT is performed five days a weeks, Monday through Friday for 6-8 weeks. Treatments are non-invasive, painless and take about 20 minutes to complete each day. IMRT technique is used to avoid sensitive structures like the rectum and bladder that sit adjacent to the prostate gland. To further improve accuracy, IGRT (image guided radiation therapy) may also be used.  Three tiny gold fiducial markers are placed into the prostate gland to be used for daily imaging before treatment. By using the Trilogy's On-Board Imager, these three markers can be used to accurately target the prostate gland immediately before radiation is delivered.