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- Order number: 1322-0012
HDR Brachytherapy with Cobalt-60
In 2003, Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG successfully designed and introduced the first miniturized Co-60 source. This design, modern even by today‘s standards, enables treatment with applicators of the smallest diameters and narrow curvatures. To date, more than 270 Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG afterloaders equipped with Co-60 have been installed worldwide and continue to prove their outstanding reliability.
Clinical Role of Cobalt-60
The Co-60 source is clinically and physically well proven and understood. TG-43 data, dosimetric measurements, and Monte Carlo calculations are available and have been implemented in HDRplus and SagiPlan®. The treatment planning systems of Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG are able to calculate dose distributions of Co-60 for all applicators shielded and unshielded.
Co-60 has been shown to be a good choice for treating gynecological, rectal, prostate, breast, esophagus, skin, and other body sites. Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG provides customers with an expansive portfolio of applicators suitable for the use with Co-60 and Ir-192.
Favorable Dose to Organs at Risk
The treatment with Co-60 leads to lower dose to organs at risk (OAR) than with Ir-192. Due to its higher mean energy of 1.25 MeV, less scatter is produced and therefore, the radial dose function of Co-60 shows slightly smaller values than Ir-192 with 0.35 MeV. This leads to less dose to organs at risk or healthy tissue within approx. 20 cm from the source.
Source Exchange Period up to 5 Years
Due to the long half-life of Co-60, the source can be used for up to 5 years which means that during the recommended working life of a single Co-60 source, approximately 20 source exchanges of Ir-192 would have to be performed. The significant time saved in performing quality assurance checks after each source exchange makes the use of Co-60 particularly attractive for high volume clinics. Furthermore, Co-60 is the isotope of choice for countries with demanding logistics.
Adequate Treatment Time
The Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG Co-60 source is loaded with an activity of up to 81.4 GBq which is significantly lower than an Ir-192 source, with up to 481 GBq. However, the Co-60 dose rate is only slightly lower due to the higher air kerma rate constant (306 vs. 110 μGy • m2 • GBq-1 • h-1). Therefore, the total treatment time with Co-60 is only slightly longer than with Ir-192.
Nevertheless, if preferred, the source exchange period can be shortened to speed up treatment time.
References: Fact sheet Cobalt-60