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Exploiting Electromagnetic Technologies for Real-Time Seed Drop Position Validation in Permanent Implant Brachytherapy

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E Racine

E Racine1*, G Hautvast2 , D Binnekamp3 , L Beaulieu4 , (1) Departement de Radio-Oncologie et Centre de Recherche du CHU de Quebec, Quebec, QC, (2) Biomedical Systems, Philips Group Innovation, Eindhoven, North Brabant, (3) Integrated Clinical Solutions & Marketing, Philips Healthcare, Best, DA, (4) Centre Hospitalier Univ de Quebec, Quebec, QC


WE-A-17A-9 Wednesday 7:30AM - 9:30AM Room: 17A

Purpose: To report on preliminary results validating the performance of a specially designed LDR brachytherapy needle prototype possessing both electromagnetic (EM) tracking and seed drop detection abilities.

Methods: An EM hollow needle prototype has been designed and constructed in collaboration with research partner Philips Healthcare. The needle possesses conventional 3D tracking capabilities, along with a novel seed drop detection mechanism exploiting local changes of electromagnetic properties generated by the passage of seeds in the needle's embedded sensor coils. These two capabilities are exploited by proprietary engineering and signal processing techniques to generate seed drop position estimates in real-time treatment delivery. The electromagnetic tracking system (EMTS) used for the experiment is the NDI Aurora Planar Field Generator. The experiment consisted of dropping a total of 35 seeds in a prismatic agarose phantom, and comparing the 3D seed drop positions of the EMTS to those obtained by an image analysis of subsequent micro-CT scans. Drop position error computations and statistical analysis were performed after a 3D registration of the two seed distributions.

Results: Of the 35 seeds dropped in the phantom, 32 were properly detected by the needle prototype. Absolute drop position errors among the detected seeds ranged from 0.5 to 4.8 mm with mean and standard deviation values of 1.6 and 0.9 mm, respectively. Error measurements also include undesirable and uncontrollable effects such as seed motion upon deposition. The true accuracy performance of the needle prototype is therefore underestimated.

Conclusion: This preliminary study demonstrates the potential benefits of EM technologies in detecting the passage of seeds in a hollow needle as a means of generating drop position estimates in real-time treatment delivery. Such tools could therefore represent a potentially interesting addition to existing brachytherapy protocols for rapid dosimetry validation.

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: Equipments and fundings for this project were provided by Philips Medical.

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