Background: Percutaneous vertebroplasty employs bone cement for injecting into the fractured vertebral body (VB) caused by spinal metastases. Radioactive bone cement and also brachytherapy seeds have been utilized to suppress the tumor growth in the VB.
Objective: This study aims to investigate the dose distributions of low-energy brachytherapy seeds, and to compare them to those of radioactive bone cement, by Monte Carlo simulation.
Material and Methods: In this simulation study, nine CT scan images were imported in Geant4. For the simulation of brachytherapy, I-125, Cs-131, or Pd-103 seeds were positioned in the VB, and for the simulation of vertebroplasty, the VB was filled by a radioactive cement loaded by P-32, Ho-166, Y-90, or Sm-153 radioisotopes. The dose-volume histograms of the VB, and the spinal cord (SC) were obtained after segmentation, considering that the reference dose is the minimum dose covered 95% of the VB.
Results: The SC sparing was improved by using beta-emitting cement because of their steep gradient dose distribution. I-125 seeds and Y-90 radioisotope showed better VB coverage for brachytherapy and vertebroplasty techniques, respectively. Pd-103 seeds and P-32 radioisotope showed better SC sparing for brachytherapy and vertebroplasty, respectively. The minimum mean doses that covered 100% of the VB were 62.0%, 56.5%, and 45.0% for I-125, Cs-131, and Pd-103 seeds, and 28.3%, 28.6%, 32.9%, and 17.7%, for P-32, Ho-166, Y-90, and Sm-153 sources, respectively.
Conclusion: I-125 and Cs-131 seeds may be useful for large tumors filling the entire VB, and also for the extended tumors invading multiple vertebrae. Beta-emitting bone cement is recommended for tumors located near the SC.