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Permanent Seed Brachytherapy (PSB)

Prostate Cancer - Conquering Cancer

Seeds of Life

MMC prostate 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.


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.


"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 for 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 gland itself."

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