University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Radiation Oncology

Publication Date


Document Type



Analytical, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques and Equipment | History of Science, Technology, and Medicine | Neoplasms | Oncology


Permanent prostate brachytherapy has been practiced for more than a century. This review examines the influence of earlier procedures on the modern transperineal ultrasound-directed technique. A literature review was conducted to examine the origin of current clinical practice. The dimensions of the modern brachytherapy seed, the prescription dose, and implant/teletherapy sequencing are vestigial features, which may be suboptimal in the current era of low-energy photon-emitting radionuclides and computerized dose calculations. Although the modern transperineal permanent prostate implant procedure has proven to be safe and effective, it should undergo continuous re-evaluation and evolution to ensure that its potential is maximized.


Brachytherapy, history of medicine, prostate cancer, prostatic neoplasms

Rights and Permissions

Copyright 2013 Termedia. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License, permitting all non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

DOI of Published Version



Aronowitz JN, Rivard MJ. The phylogeny of permanent prostate brachytherapy. J Contemp Brachytherapy. 2013 Jun;5(2):89-92. doi: 10.5114/jcb.2013.35562. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of contemporary brachytherapy

PubMed ID




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