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Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering
SJR: 0.207 SNIP: 0.376 CiteScore™: 0.79

ISSN Print: 0278-940X
ISSN Online: 1943-619X

Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevBiomedEng.v37.i1-2.20
pages 59-106

Robotic Brachytherapy of the Prostate

Kyle J. Wilson
Department of Medical Physics & Applied Radiation Sciences, McMaster University, Canada


Recent applications of robotics in the feld of prostate brachytherapy are seeding the future and could potentially lead to a fully automated prostate brachytherapy surgery. Currently, a typical prostate brachytherapy surgery involves the implantation of upwards of 100 radioactive I-125 seeds by a surgeon. This review supplies background information on prostate biology, brachytherapy of the prostate, robotic brachytherapy, and transrectal ultrasound. Subsequently, it examines the physics involved in ultrasound, radiation from an I-125 source, dosimetry, and robotics. A current semi-automated robotic brachytherapy system is examined in detail and a discussion on future improvements is outlined. Finally, future work to improve prostate brachytherapy is postulated, most notably, phantom optimization using polyvinyl alcohol cryogel. The future of robotic brachytherapy lies in the advent of more sophisticated robotics. This review will give the reader a superior understanding of brachytherapy and its recent robotic advancements. Hopefully, this review will generate new ideas needed to advance prostate brachytherapy procedures leading to more accurate dosimetry, faster procedure time, less ionizing radiation received by surgery staff, more rapid patient recovery, and an overall safer procedure.