Brachytherapy is an outpatient procedure for the treatment of prostate cancer. In brachytherapy, a needle is inserted through the perineum and radioactive seeds are implanted into the prostate. Fluoroscopy and ultrasound are used to visualize the prostate gland for precise positioning of the needles. There are three types of LDR radioactive seeds: iodine-125, palladium-103 and cesium-131. These radioactive isotopes are left inside the prostate for up to several weeks and ultimately destroy tumor cells by damaging the cells DNA, diminishing their ability to repair and causing cell death. Because palladium isotopes have a shorter half-life than iodine isotopes, the radiation dosage is delivered over a shorter period of time. For the purposes of this analysis, only iodine seeds will be considered.
Internal radiation therapy (RTi), also known as brachytherapy, is a form or RT that puts the radioactive material inside the patient either via a catheter or a needle. In terms of its placement, RTi may be administered as intracavitary or interstitial. In the case of intracavitary, the radioactive material is placed inside a cavity in the body such as in the rectum or uterus; in the case of interstitial, the radioactive material is placed on/near the cancer but not inside a body cavity. The most common form of brachytherapy involves the placement of seeds inside the body involving differing durations and radioactivity. Each seed is approximately the size and shape of a small grain of rice.
The interventional oncology (IO) device market encompasses many different types of methodical approaches to the treatment of cancer. As the cancer epidemic continues to flourish in the U.S., so too do a vast variety of treatment options all designed to increase patient survival, comfort and affordability.