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Medical Seeds

Medical seeds are tiny capsules filled with a radioactive isotope that are designed to be implanted in or near cancerous tissue. The radiation dose delivered damages the genetic material of the cancer cells making it impossible for these cells to continue to grow and divide. This use of medical seeds is called brachytherapy, or short distance therapy, which refers to the distance the radiation travels from the seed to the cancerous cells. PNNL has operated the Calibrations Laboratory for Ionizing Radiation for over 20 years, and during that time the staff has acquired many years of experience in performing novel and difficult dosimetry measurements and Monte Carlo (computer code) for neutron and photon (transport) calculations. The increase in demand for dosemetric evaluations for radioactive medical seeds led PNNL to expand own services to include AAPM TG-43 evaluations. PNNL performs full characterization and calibration on medical seeds including radial dose measurement, energy spectra and anisotropy characterization. Monte Carlo calculations are also available.

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