Interstitial brachytherapy for intracranial metastases
In large medical centers, the availability of radiosurgery has relegated brachytherapy to a lesser role in the treatment of newly diagnosed solitary brain metastases. However, the treatment planning in radiosurgery is complex, and in some case the hardware is prohibitively expensive; low or high dose rate brachytherapy requires only a stereotactic frame, commercially available software, and encapsulated radionuclides or newer tiny linear accelerators. Interstitial brachytherapy also remains an option for the treatment of recurrent solitary metastases when other forms of treatment have failed. This article reviews the radiobiology of low and high dose rate interstitial brachytherapy, the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) results using iodine-125 implants, and early experience with the photon radiosurgery system (PRS) at Massachusetts General Hospital for the treatment of brain metastases.