Implementation of a real-time, ultrasound-guided prostate HDR brachytherapy program

Blake R. Smith, Sarah A. Strand, David Dunkerley, Ryan T. Flynn, Abigail E. Besemer, Jennifer D. Kos, Joseph M. Caster, Bonnie S. Wagner, Yusung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This work presents a comprehensive commissioning and workflow development process of a real-time, ultrasound (US) image-guided treatment planning system (TPS), a stepper and a US unit. To adequately benchmark the system, commissioning tasks were separated into (1) US imaging, (2) stepper mechanical, and (3) treatment planning aspects. Quality assurance US imaging measurements were performed following the AAPM TG-128 and GEC-ESTRO recommendations and consisted of benchmarking the spatial resolution, accuracy, and low-contrast detectability. Mechanical tests were first used to benchmark the electronic encoders within the stepper and were later expanded to evaluate the needle free length calculation accuracy. Needle reconstruction accuracy was rigorously evaluated at the treatment planning level. The calibration length of each probe was redundantly checked between the calculated and measured needle free length, which was found to be within 1 mm for a variety of scenarios. Needle placement relative to a reference fiducial and coincidence of imaging coordinate origins were verified to within 1 mm in both sagittal and transverse imaging planes. The source strength was also calibrated within the interstitial needle and was found to be 1.14% lower than when measured in a plastic needle. Dose calculations in the TPS and secondary dose calculation software were benchmarked against manual TG-43 calculations. Calculations among the three calculation methods agreed within 1% for all calculated points. Source positioning and dummy coincidence was tested following the recommendations of the TG-40 report. Finally, the development of the clinical workflow, checklists, and planning objectives are discussed and included within this report. The commissioning of real-time, US-guided HDR prostate systems requires careful consideration among several facets including the image quality, dosimetric, and mechanical accuracy. The TPS relies on each of these components to develop and administer a treatment plan, and as such, should be carefully examined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-214
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of applied clinical medical physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Instrumentation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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