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The Radiation Oncology Department at the University of Vermont Cancer Center is the only one in the state offering prostate seed implant therapy (also called brachytherapy) to target cancerous cells in the prostate. Our team of radiation oncology specialists has a great depth of experience performing this procedure.
Prostate Seed Implant Therapy at the UVM Cancer Center
Our Garden Pavilion houses all radiation oncology services in one convenient location. Here, our specialists provide a comprehensive approach to cancer treatment. At the Cancer Center you benefit from:
- Experience and expertise: Each year, we treat more than 800 people who have cancer, including approximately 150 men who have prostate cancer. Our team of radiation oncologists has a tremendous amount of experience performing this form of radiation therapy.
- Advanced technology: We are the only medical facility in the state offering prostate seed implant therapy and high-dose rate radiation therapy for prostate cancer.
- High volume: We average two of these procedures a month, which is a high volume for our medical center. Our experience with prostate seed implant makes us the most experienced team in this region.
- Team approach to care: Our radiation oncology team works seamlessly with your physician, surgeon, hematologist and other medical professionals to deliver care directed by your personalized treatment plan.
- Therapeutic touches: We designed the Garden Pavilion to provide both comfort and privacy based on input from patients and families. Each treatment area has two exam rooms and two private changing rooms complete with personal restrooms and lockers. Rooftop flower and vegetable gardens offer a tranquil retreat for you and your family. Natural light from skylights and windows brighten and warm the facility.
- Personalized care: At the UVM Cancer Center, our goal is to enhance your quality of life both during and after cancer treatment. Our Cancer Patient Support Program provides emotional and educational support to you and your family. Our free Steps to Wellness program helps you regain muscle strength and increase stamina so you can more quickly return to enjoying everyday activities following cancer treatments.
- Convenience: Our location adjacent to the UVM Cancer Center and the parking garage provides easy access between the areas.
What is Prostate Seed Implant Therapy?
Our team of radiation oncology specialists performs approximately two of these procedures per month, providing them with an unmatched depth of treatment expertise.
Your physician may recommend prostate seed implant therapy if you have early-stage, slow-growing prostate cancer. There are two forms of prostate seed implant therapy:
Permanent Low-Dose Rate Prostate Seed Implant Therapy
Your radiation oncology team uses ultrasound images and a robotic machine to guide the placement of radioactive seeds or pellets directly into the cancerous prostate tumor. You may receive up to 100 radioactive seeds, each about the size of a grain of rice.
As the seeds naturally decay, they emit radiation that damages nearby cancer cells. Within a few weeks or months, the decayed seeds are no longer radioactive. They remain in the body.
Temporary High-Dose Rate Prostate Seed Implant Therapy
Your radiation oncology team uses ultrasound images and a robotic machine to guide the placement of soft tubes called catheters into your prostate. The team then places radioactive seeds into the catheters where they emit radiation for 15 to 30 minutes before removal. You may undergo this process up to three times per treatment session. The catheters remain in place for two to three days until treatment is complete.
Benefits of Prostate Seed Implant Therapy
The many benefits of prostate seed implant therapy include:
- More precise delivery of highly-concentrated radiation to targeted cancerous area
- Limited radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissues and organs
- Reduced risk of side effects, including incontinence and impotence
- Shorter treatment time than standard radiation therapy
- Can be combined with other cancer treatments for greater efficacy