Sci-Thur PM – Brachytherapy 04: Commissioning and Implementation of a Cobalt-60 High Dose Rate Brachytherapy Source



An Eckert & Ziegler Bebig Co0.A86 cobalt 60 high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy source was commissioned for clinical use. Long-lived Co-60 HDR sources offer potential logistical and economic advantages over Ir-192 sources, and should be considered for low to medium workload brachytherapy departments where modest increases in treatment times are not a factor. In optimized plans, the Co-60 source provides a similar dose distribution to Ir-192 despite the difference in radiation energy. By switching to Co-60, source exchange frequency can be reduced by a factor of 20, resulting in overall financial savings of more than 50% compared to Ir-192 sources. In addition, a reduction in Physicist QA workload of roughly 200 hours over the 5 year life of the Co-60 source is also expected. These benefits should be considered against the modest increases in average treatment time compared to those of Ir-192 sources, as well as the centre-specific needs for operating room shielding modification.