A Pilot Study of Image-Guided Navigation for High-Dose Rate Brachytherapy to Manage Discomfort in Patients with Previously Treated Spine Tumors

Full Title

A Pilot Study of Image-Guided Navigation for High Dose Rate Temporary Interstitial Brachytherapy in the Palliative Management of Previously Treated Tumors of the Spine and Pelvis


This study is assessing the effectiveness of a new method for guiding the placement of radioactive sources into spinal tumors that have returned or persisted despite prior external beam radiation therapy. The implantation of radioactive seeds into a tumor is called brachytherapy. It is a means of applying concentrated radiation directly to tumor tissue to kill cancer cells while sparing nearby healthy tissue. For patients with recurrent tumors in the spine, this approach has been shown to help relieve pain.

The method being evaluated in this study is called “image-guided surgical navigation.” It uses images of the patient’s spine taken both before and during the brachytherapy procedure and a tracking system built into the doctors’ instruments to see exactly where the instruments are in the patient’s body without having to make large incisions. It is hoped that this system can facilitate the placement of brachytherapy catheters into spinal tumors, enhancing the effectiveness of therapy while decreasing the exposure of healthy tissue to radiation.


To be eligible for this study, patients must meet several criteria, including but not limited to the following:

  • Patients must have a spinal tumor that returned in an area previously treated with external beam radiotherapy.
  • This study is open to patients age 18 and older.

For more information and to inquire about eligibility for this study, please contact Dr. Yoshiya (Josh) Yamada at 212-639-2950.