Optimizing The Seed Implantation Scheme In Breast Brachytherapy

PURPOSE: Low-dose-rate permanent-seed (LDR-PS) brachytherapy has shown great potential for treating breast cancer. An implantation scheme indicating the template pose and needle trajectories is determined before the operation. However, when performing the pre-planned scheme intraoperatively, a change of the patient's posture will cause seed placements away from the desired locations. Hence, the implantation scheme should up- date based on the current patient's posture.

METHOD: A numerical method of optimizing the implantation scheme for the LDR-PS breast brachytherapy is presented here. The proposed algorithm determines the fewest needle trajectories and template poses for delivering the seeds to the intraoperative desired locations. The clinical demand, such as the minimum distance between the chest wall and the needle, is considered in the optimization process.

RESULTS: The method was simulated for a given LDR-PS brachytherapy procedure to evaluate the optimal scheme as the number of the template poses changing. The optimization parameters of the needles' number and the implantation errors are used to adjust the algorithm outcome. The results show, that the implantation schemes obtained by our method have a satisfactory accuracy in the cases of 2 or 3 template poses. The computation time is about 76s to 150s according to the number of the template poses from 1 to 3.

CONCLUSIONS: The proposed method can find the optimal implantation scheme corresponding to the current desired seed locations immediately once there is a change of patient's posture. This work can be applied to the robot-assist LDR-PS breast brachytherapy for improving the operation accuracy and efficiency.