Cesium-131 Brachytherapy May Be Prostate Cancer Game-changer, Study Reports

Cesium-131 Brachytherapy May Be Prostate Cancer Game-changer, Study Reports
About 161,360 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2017, according to the American Cancer Society. The usual treatment options are radiation or surgery, both of which are costly. A new brachytherapy isotope, Cesium-131, could be a game-changer, a study indicates. Brachytherapy involves placing radioactive implants, or seeds, directly onto tumors to destroy cancer cells while limiting damage to healthy tissue. IsoRay Medical markets Cesium-131 brachytherapy seeds. It is not only more cost-effective than other treatments, but also generates fewer side effects, researchers said. Their study, “Long-Term Quality of Life in Prostate Cancer Patients Treated with Cesium-131,” was published in The International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics. Scientists have refined brachytherapy many times since its introduction in 1901. Some experts see Cesium-131 as an optimal version because it is both fast-acting and has a shorter delivery time than other brachytherapies — about 30 days. A key advantage of Cesium-131 is shorter recuperation periods, meaning patients can recover their urinary, bowel, and sexual functions quicker than with other brachytherapy solutions. The findings suggest that Cesium-131 brachytherapy offers patients an ability to maintain the quality of life they had before treatment better than other options. "Fo
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Inês holds a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Lisbon, Portugal, where she specialized in blood vessel biology, blood stem cells, and cancer. Before that, she studied Cell and Molecular Biology at Universidade Nova de Lisboa and worked as a research fellow at Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologias and Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência. Inês currently works as a Managing Science Editor, striving to deliver the latest scientific advances to patient communities in a clear and accurate manner.


  1. Jim Bidwell says:

    Can this treatment be used if patient has had radiation seed implants in 2009? My cancer has returned and is now hormone resistant. I am on Xtendi.

  2. Unfortunately Ms. Henriques incorrectly called Cs-131seeds, Gammatile.

    Cs-131 seeds are used in treating many cancers including: prostate, brain, head and neck, gyn, lung and others. They are not called Gammatile(s). For more information on cancer treatments using Cs-13, and physician and patient experiences, please see the Isoray website at isoray.com

    • Grace Frank says:

      An earlier version of this story wrongly reported that IsoRay Medical markets Cesium-131 brachytherapy seeds that it developed as GammaTile. GammaTile is under development by GT Medical Technologies.

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