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Gold fiducial markers are tiny, gold seeds, about the size of a grain of rice, that are put in and/or around a tumor to show exactly where it is in the body. Doctors are then able to target the tumor directly and give higher doses of radiation with less harm to nearby healthy tissue. They are also known as gold fiducial marker seeds, gold seeds, and gold-seed fiducial markers.

What are Some Common Uses of the Procedure?

Fiducial markers are implanted to define and target lesions located within the soft tissues of the:
• Chest, including the lung and chest wall
• Abdomen, including the liver, gallbladder, kidney and pancreas
• Pelvis, including the prostate
• Head and neck.

What Does the Equipment Look Like?

Fiducial markers are implanted using a delivery device that looks similar to a biopsy needle. Placement of fiducial markers is guided by computed tomography (CT) or ultrasound and may also involve the use of an endoscope, an illuminated optical instrument.

How Does the Procedure Work?

Fiducial markers are placed using a needle that is inserted into the area of the lesion with the help of computed tomography (CT) or ultrasound (US). Markers pre-filled in the needle are then advanced to carefully plotted positions in and around the tumor.