SU-F-T-09: In Phantom Full-Implant Validation of Plastic Scintillation Detectors for in Vivo Dosimetry During Low Dose Rate Brachytherapy




To validate in a water phantom the use of plastic scintillation detectors to measure dose to the urethra and the rectal wall during a clinically realistic low dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy implant.


A template was designed to replicate a clinically realistic LDR brachytherapy prostate implant inside a water phantom. Twenty-two catheters were inserted, including one mimicking the urethra and another the rectal wall. The needles inserted in the remaining 20 catheters were composed of thin-walled nylon tubes in which I-125 radioactive seeds (Air Kerma Strengths of (0.328±0.020)U) were abutted together with plastic spacers to replicate a typical loading. A plastic scintillation detector (PSD) with a 5-mm long × 1-mm diameter sensitive element was first placed inside the urethra and 1-second measurements were performed for 60s after each needle implant. Measurements were also performed at multiple positions along the urethra once all the needles were inserted. The procedure was then repeated with the PSD placed at the rectal wall.


Individual dose-rates ranging from 0.07µGy/s to 1.5µGy/s were measured after each needle implant. The average absolute relative differences were (6.2±3.6)% and (6.9±6.5)% to the values calculated with the TG-43 formalism, for the urethra and rectal wall respectively. These results are within expectations from the error uncertainty budget once accounting for uncertainties in seeds’ strength and positioning. Interestingly, the PSD allowed for unplanned error detection as the study was performed. Finally, the measured dose after the full implant at different positions along the mimicked organs at risk were in agreement with TG-43 values for all of the positions tested.


Plastic scintillation detectors could be used as in vivo detectors for LDR brachytherapy as they would provide accurate dose information after each needle implant as well as along the organs at risk at the end of the implant.