Ocular malignancies treated with iodine-125 low dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy at a single high-volume institution: A retrospective review

Zachary Richards, My Lien Nguyen, Michael Kutteh, Salahuddin Ahmad, Christina Henson, Brian Firestone, Terence S. Herman, Tania De La Fuente Herman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The aim of our study is to document our cases of choroidal melanoma treated with low dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy and to correlate the dosimetry and radiobiology with clinical effects and oncologic outcomes. Data from 157 patients treated from 2014 to 2018 with LDR brachytherapy were used for this investigation. Treatments used a collaborative ocular melanoma study eye plaque and Iodine-125 radioactive seeds. The seeds activities were chosen to deliver 85 Gy to the tumor apex or to a prescription point (if the apex < 5 mm). The plaque sizes used were 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, and 22 mm including notched or deep notched. The plaques were modeled in Varian BrachyVision version 11.6 (Varian Medical Systems) with seed coordinates from the AAPM Task Group 129. The Task Group 43 from AAPM was used for brachytherapy dose planning. Dose data were extracted for the apex, prescription point, sclera, retina opposite to the implant, lens, macula, and optic disc. The radiobiological dosimetry were calculated using appropriate α/β ratios found in the literature and then correlated to clinical side effects. Average biologically effective dose for associated organs at risk were calculated in cases where toxicity occurred. These included: radiation cataract (70.66 Gy), disc atrophy (475.49 Gy), foveal atrophy (263.07 Gy), radiation papillopathy (373.45 Gy), radiation maculopathy (213.62 Gy), vitreous hemorrhage (1437.68 Gy), vascular occlusion (1080.93 Gy), nonproliferative retinopathy (1066.89 Gy), proliferative retinopathy (1590.71 Gy), exudative retinal detachment (1364.32 Gy), and rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (2265.54 Gy). Average biologically effective dose was higher in patients who developed radiation induced long term side effects than in the whole patient population except for radiation maculopathy. In spite of the small patient population and short-term follow-up, it is of interest to correlate the radiation induced effects and create a guideline for the improvement of the treatment of patients treated with LDR brachytherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-279
Number of pages7
JournalMedical Dosimetry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Brachytherapy
  • Ocular melanoma
  • Radiobiological dose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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