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1.  The effect of anterior proton beams in the setting of a prostate-rectum spacer 
Studies suggest that anterior beams with in vivo range verification would improve rectal dosimetry in proton therapy for prostate cancer. We investigated whether prostate-rectum spacers would enhance or diminish the benefits of anterior proton beams in these treatments. Twenty milliliters of hydrogel was injected between the prostate and rectum of a cadaver using a transperineal approach. Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) images were used to generate 7 uniform scanning (US) and 7 single-field uniform dose pencil-beam scanning (PBS) plans with different beam arrangements. Pearson correlations were calculated between rectal, bladder, and femoral head dosimetric outcomes and beam arrangement anterior scores, which characterize the degree to which dose is delivered anteriorly. The overall quality of each plan was compared using a virtual dose-escalation study. For US plans, rectal mean dose was inversely correlated with anterior score, but for PBS plans there was no association between rectal mean dose and anterior score. For both US and PBS plans, full bladder and empty bladder mean doses were correlated with anterior scores. For both US and PBS plans, femoral head mean doses were inversely correlated with anterior score. For US plans and a full bladder, 4 beam arrangements that included an anterior beam tied for the highest maximum prescription dose (MPD). For US plans and an empty bladder, the arrangement with 1 anterior and 2 anterior oblique beams achieved the highest MPD in the virtual dose-escalation study. The dose-escalation study did not differentiate beam arrangements for PBS. All arrangements in the dose-escalation study were limited by bladder constraints except for the arrangement with 2 posterior oblique beams. The benefits of anterior proton beams in the setting of prostate-rectum spacers appear to be proton modality dependent and may not extend to PBS.
PMCID: PMC3968918  PMID: 23578497
Spacer; Proton therapy; Anterior beams; Prostate-rectum spacer
2.  System for MR Image–guided Prostate Interventions: Canine Study 
Radiology  2003;228(3):886-894.
The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the use of a transrectal system that enables precise magnetic resonance (MR) image guidance and monitoring of prostate interventions. The system used a closed-bore 1.5-T MR imaging unit and enables one to take advantage of the higher signal-to-noise ratio achieved with traditional magnet designs, which is crucial for accurate targeting and monitoring of prostate interventions. In the first of the four canine studies, reliable needle placement, with all needles placed within 2 mm of the desired target site, was achieved. In two other studies, MR imaging was used to monitor distribution of injected contrast agent solution (gadopentetate dimeglumine mixed with trypan blue dye) in and around the prostate, thereby confirming that solution had been delivered to the desired tissue and also detecting faulty injections. In the final study, accurate placement and MR imaging of brachytherapy seeds in the prostate were demonstrated. The described system provides a flexible platform for a variety of minimally invasive MR image–guided therapeutic and diagnostic prostate interventions.
PMCID: PMC3302165  PMID: 12954903
Magnetic resonance (MR), experimental studies; Magnetic resonance (MR), guidance; Prostate neoplasms, MR; Prostate neoplasms, therapeutic radiology
3.  An Interventional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technique for the Molecular Characterization of Intraprostatic Dynamic Contrast Enhancement 
Molecular Imaging  2005;4(1):63-66.
The biological characterization of an individual patient’s tumor by noninvasive imaging will have an important role in cancer care and clinical research if the molecular processes that underlie the image data are known. Spatial heterogeneity in the dynamics of magnetic resonance imaging contrast enhancement (DCE-MRI) is hypothesized to reflect variations in tumor angiogenesis. Here we demonstrate the feasibility of precisely colocalizing DCE-MRI data with the genomic and proteomic profiles of underlying biopsy tissue using a novel MRI-guided biopsy technique in patients with prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC3299492  PMID: 15967127
Angiogenesis; molecular imaging; interventional MRI; prostate cancer; micro-array analysis
4.  Transrectal Prostate Biopsy and Fiducial Marker Placement in a Standard 1.5T Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scanner 
The Journal of Urology  2006;175(1):113-120.
We investigated the accuracy and feasibility of a system that provides transrectal needle access to the prostate concurrent with 1.5 Tesla MRI which previously has not been possible.
Materials and Methods
In 5 patients with previously diagnosed prostate cancer, MRI guided intraprostatic placement of gold fiducial markers (4 procedures) and/or prostate biopsy (3 procedures) was performed using local anesthesia.
Mean procedure duration was 76 minutes and all patients tolerated the intervention well. Procedure related adverse events included self-limited hematuria and hematochezia following 3 of 8 procedures (all resolved in less than 1 week). Mean needle placement accuracy was 1.9 mm for the fiducial marker placement studies and 1.8 mm for the biopsy procedures. Mean fiducial marker placement accuracy was 4.8 mm and the mean fiducial marker placement accuracy transverse to the needle direction was 2.6 mm. All patients who underwent the procedure were able to complete their course of radiotherapy without delay or complication.
While studies of clinical usefulness are warranted, transrectal 1.5 T MRI guided prostate biopsy and fiducial marker placement is feasible using this system, providing new opportunities for image guided diagnostic and therapeutic prostate interventions.
PMCID: PMC3299542  PMID: 16406885
magnetic resonance imaging; prostate; prostatic neoplasms; biopsy; radiology; interventional
5.  Design of a Novel MRI Compatible Manipulator for Image Guided Prostate Interventions 
This paper reports a novel remotely actuated manipulator for access to prostate tissue under magnetic resonance imaging guidance (APT-MRI) device, designed for use in a standard high-field MRI scanner. The device provides three-dimensional MRI guided needle placement with millimeter accuracy under physician control. Procedures enabled by this device include MRI guided needle biopsy, fiducial marker placements, and therapy delivery. Its compact size allows for use in both standard cylindrical and open configuration MRI scanners. Preliminary in vivo canine experiments and first clinical trials are reported.
PMCID: PMC3299496  PMID: 15709668
Biomedical imaging; cancer; magnetic resonance imaging; medical diagnosis; medical treatment
In radiotherapy for prostate cancer, the rectum is the major dose-limiting structure. Physically separating the rectum from the prostate (e.g., by injecting a spacer) can reduce the rectal radiation dose. Despite pilot clinical studies, no careful analysis has been done of the risks, benefits, and dosimetric effects of this practice.
Methods and Materials
Using cadaveric specimens, 20 mL of a hydrogel was injected between the prostate and rectum using a transperineal approach. Imaging was performed before and after spacer placement, and the cadavers were subsequently dissected. Ten intensity-modulated radiotherapy plans were generated (five before and five after separation), allowing for characterization of the rectal dose reduction. To quantify the amount of prostate-rectum separation needed for effective rectal dose reduction, simulations were performed using nine clinically generated intensity-modulated radiotherapy plans.
In the cadaveric studies, an average of 12.5 mm of prostate-rectum separation was generated with the 20-mL hydrogel injections (the seminal vesicles were also separated from the rectum). The average rectal volume receiving 70 Gy decreased from 19.9% to 4.5% (p < .05). In the simulation studies, a prostate-rectum separation of 10 mm was sufficient to reduce the mean rectal volume receiving 70 Gy by 83.1% (p < .05). No additional reduction in the average rectal volume receiving 70 Gy was noted after 15 mm of separation. In addition, spacer placement allowed for increased planning target volume margins without exceeding the rectal dose tolerance.
Prostate-rectum spacers can allow for reduced rectal toxicity rates, treatment intensification, and/or reduced dependence on complex planning and treatment delivery techniques.
PMCID: PMC3115781  PMID: 19939577
Prostate cancer; side effects; rectum; external beam radiotherapy
7.  Feasibility of Real-Time Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Catheter Guidance in Electrophysiology Studies 
Circulation  2008;118(3):223-229.
Compared with fluoroscopy, the current imaging standard of care for guidance of electrophysiology procedures, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides improved soft-tissue resolution and eliminates radiation exposure. However, because of inherent magnetic forces and electromagnetic interference, the MRI environment poses challenges for electrophysiology procedures. In this study, we sought to test the feasibility of performing electrophysiology studies with real-time MRI guidance.
Methods and Results
An MRI-compatible electrophysiology system was developed. Catheters were targeted to the right atrium, His bundle, and right ventricle of 10 mongrel dogs (23 to 32 kg) via a 1.5-T MRI system using rapidly acquired fast gradient-echo images (≈5 frames per second). Catheters were successfully positioned at the right atrial, His bundle, and right ventricular target sites of all animals. Comprehensive electrophysiology studies with recording of intracardiac electrograms and atrial and ventricular pacing were performed. Postprocedural pathological evaluation revealed no evidence of thermal injury to the myocardium. After proof of safety in animal studies, limited real-time MRI-guided catheter mapping studies were performed in 2 patients. Adequate target catheter localization was confirmed via recording of intracardiac electrograms in both patients.
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to report the feasibility of real-time MRI-guided electrophysiology procedures. This technique may eliminate patient and staff radiation exposure and improve real-time soft tissue resolution for procedural guidance.
PMCID: PMC2826501  PMID: 18574048
electrophysiology; magnetic resonance imaging; magnetic resonance imaging; interventional
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides superior visualization of the prostate and surrounding anatomy, making it the modality of choice for imaging the prostate gland. This pilot study was performed to determine the feasibility and dosimetric quality achieved when placing high-dose-rate prostate brachytherapy catheters under MRI guidance in a standard “closed-bore” 1.5T scanner.
Methods and Materials:
Patients with intermediate-risk and high-risk localized prostate cancer received MRI-guided high-dose-rate brachytherapy boosts before and after a course of external beam radiotherapy. Using a custom visualization and targeting program, the brachytherapy catheters were placed and adjusted under MRI guidance until satisfactory implant geometry was achieved. Inverse treatment planning was performed using high-resolution T2-weighted MRI.
Ten brachytherapy procedures were performed on 5 patients. The median percentage of volume receiving 100% of prescribed minimal peripheral dose (V100) achieved was 94% (mean, 92%; 95% confidence interval, 89–95%). The urethral V125 ranged from 0% to 18% (median, 5%), and the rectal V75 ranged from 0% to 3.1% (median, 0.3%). In all cases, lesions highly suspicious for malignancy could be visualized on the procedural MRI, and extracapsular disease was identified in 2 patients.
High-dose-rate prostate brachytherapy in a standard 1.5T MRI scanner is feasible and achieves favorable dosimetry within a reasonable period with high-quality image guidance. Although the procedure was well tolerated in the acute setting, additional follow-up is required to determine the long-term safety and efficacy of this approach.
PMCID: PMC2396328  PMID: 15275727
Prostate cancer; Brachytherapy; MRI; Image guidance
9.  System for Prostate Brachytherapy and Biopsy in a Standard 1.5 T MRI Scanner 
A technique for transperineal high-dose-rate (HDR) prostate brachytherapy and needle biopsy in a standard 1.5 T MRI scanner is demonstrated. In each of eight procedures (in four patients with intermediate to high risk localized prostate cancer), four MRI-guided transperineal prostate biopsies were obtained followed by placement of 14–15 hollow transperineal catheters for HDR brachytherapy. Mean needle-placement accuracy was 2.1 mm, 95% of needle-placement errors were less than 4.0 mm, and the maximum needle-placement error was 4.4 mm. In addition to guiding the placement of biopsy needles and brachytherapy catheters, MR images were also used for brachytherapy treatment planning and optimization. Because 1.5 T MR images are directly acquired during the interventional procedure, dependence on deformable registration is reduced and online image quality is maximized.
PMCID: PMC2396258  PMID: 15334592
MRI; brachytherapy; prostate; prostatic neoplasms; biopsy; interventional MRI
10.  Early observed transient prostate-specific antigen elevations on a pilot study of external beam radiation therapy and fractionated MRI guided High Dose Rate brachytherapy boost 
To report early observation of transient PSA elevations on this pilot study of external beam radiation therapy and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guided high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy boost.
Materials and methods
Eleven patients with intermediate-risk and high-risk localized prostate cancer received MRI guided HDR brachytherapy (10.5 Gy each fraction) before and after a course of external beam radiotherapy (46 Gy). Two patients continued on hormones during follow-up and were censored for this analysis. Four patients discontinued hormone therapy after RT. Five patients did not receive hormones. PSA bounce is defined as a rise in PSA values with a subsequent fall below the nadir value or to below 20% of the maximum PSA level. Six previously published definitions of biochemical failure to distinguish true failure from were tested: definition 1, rise >0.2 ng/mL; definition 2, rise >0.4 ng/mL; definition 3, rise >35% of previous value; definition 4, ASTRO defined guidelines, definition 5 nadir + 2 ng/ml, and definition 6, nadir + 3 ng/ml.
Median follow-up was 24 months (range 18–36 mo). During follow-up, the incidence of transient PSA elevation was: 55% for definition 1, 44% for definition 2, 55% for definition 3, 33% for definition 4, 11% for definition 5, and 11% for definition 6.
We observed a substantial incidence of transient elevations in PSA following combined external beam radiation and HDR brachytherapy for prostate cancer. Such elevations seem to be self-limited and should not trigger initiation of salvage therapies. No definition of failure was completely predictive.
PMCID: PMC1564026  PMID: 16914054
11.  Intra- and inter-radiation therapist reproducibility of daily isocenter verification using prostatic fiducial markers 
We sought to determine the intra- and inter-radiation therapist reproducibility of a previously established matching technique for daily verification and correction of isocenter position relative to intraprostatic fiducial markers (FM).
Materials and methods
With the patient in the treatment position, anterior-posterior and left lateral electronic images are acquired on an amorphous silicon flat panel electronic portal imaging device. After each portal image is acquired, the therapist manually translates and aligns the fiducial markers in the image to the marker contours on the digitally reconstructed radiograph. The distances between the planned and actual isocenter location is displayed. In order to determine the reproducibility of this technique, four therapists repeated and recorded this operation two separate times on 20 previously acquired portal image datasets from two patients. The data were analyzed to obtain the mean variability in the distances measured between and within observers.
The mean and median intra-observer variability ranged from 0.4 to 0.7 mm and 0.3 to 0.6 mm respectively with a standard deviation of 0.4 to 1.0 mm. Inter-observer results were similar with a mean variability of 0.9 mm, a median of 0.6 mm, and a standard deviation of 0.7 mm. When using a 5 mm threshold, only 0.5% of treatments will undergo a table shift due to intra or inter-observer error, increasing to an error rate of 2.4% if this threshold were reduced to 3 mm.
We have found high reproducibility with a previously established method for daily verification and correction of isocenter position relative to prostatic fiducial markers using electronic portal imaging.
PMCID: PMC1436003  PMID: 16722575

Results 1-11 (11)