Unlocking the Potential of Cesium-131: Understanding Radiation Seed Therapy in Modern Cancer Treatment

By Perspective Therapeutics

Radiation therapy has been an integral part of cancer treatment for many years. One specific method that’s been gaining attention is the use of radiation brachytherapy seeds, particularly seeds made with the isotope, Cesium-131. In this post, we’ll explore what radiation seeds are and highlight the role of Cesium-131 in modern medical procedures.

What Are Radiation Seeds?

Radiation seeds are small, radioactive pellets used to treat cancer; these procedures are known as brachytherapy. These tiny seeds are implanted directly into or near the tumor, or in the cavity after a tumor has been removed. This allows for a concentrated dose of radiation to be delivered to the cancerous tissue, with minimal impact on surrounding healthy tissue (Chargari et al., 2019).

Cesium-131: A Specific Type of Radiation Seed

Cesium-131 is a radioisotope and has become popular in radiation seed therapy due to its specific properties. It has a short half-life (9.7 days) making it a suitable candidate for delivering an effective dose over a relatively short period (Rivard et al., 2008).ย  This allows for targeted treatment that minimizes potential side effects (Moran B. J., et al., 2021).

Applications of Cesium-131

Cesium-131 is primarily used in the treatment of various types of cancers, including prostate cancer, brain tumors, lung cancer, head & neck cancers, and other localized tumors.

  1. Prostate Cancer: Cesium-131 has shown effectiveness in the treatment of localized prostate cancer. It provides the advantage of a shorter duration of treatment with less impact on urinary functions (Rodriguez-Lopez et al., 2022).
  2. Brain Tumors: The use of Cesium-131 in treating brain tumors is an emerging practice. Its ability to deliver focused radiation helps in managing specific types of brain tumors with better control and less damage to healthy brain tissue compared to the other seed isotope, I-125 (Palmisciano et al., 2023).
  3. Other Localized Cancers: Cesium-131 is also used to treat other types of localized cancer, including lung, head & neck, and certain gynecological cancers.


Radiation seed therapy, especially with Cesium-131, is an innovative tool in the fight against cancer.


Cesium-131 Seeds

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  • Rivard, M. J., Coursey, B. M., DeWerd, L. A., Hanson, W. F., Huq, M. S., Ibbott, G. S., … & Williamson, J. F. (2008). Update of AAPM Task Group No. 43 Report: A revised AAPM protocol for brachytherapy dose calculations. Medical Physics, 31(3), 633-674.
  • Moran BJ, Koroulakis A, Decesaris C, Braccioforte MH, Amin N, Agarwal M. Long-term outcomes of a prospective randomized trial ofย 131Cs/125I permanent prostate brachytherapy. Brachytherapy. 2021 Jan-Feb;20(1):38-43. doi: 10.1016/j.brachy.2020.07.005. Epub 2020 Oct 12. PMID: 33059997.
  • Rodriguez-Lopez JL, et al. Treatment of intermediate-risk prostate cancer with Cs-131: Long-term results from a single institution. Brachytherapy. 2022 Jan-Feb;21(1):79-84
  • Palmisciano P, Haider AS, Balasubramanian K, Boockvar JA, Schwartz TH, D’Amico RS, Gabriella Wernicke A. Cesium-131 brachytherapy for the treatment of brain metastases: Current status and future perspectives. J Clin Neurosci. 2023 Mar;109:57-63.
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