there is currently great interest in the treatment of prostate cancer due to its increasing profile in the older male population. in recent years brachytherapy has become a viable treatment option. low dose rate implants using permanently implanted radioactive seeds and high dose rate treatments using afterloading machines are two methods regularly used for the treatment of this disease. both techniques require close integration between imaging and the placement of the radioactive sources. future developments in imaging will lead to improved targeting of the radiation to diseased areas of the prostate and interactive treatment planning. this review paper describes the current status of the treatment of prostate cancer by brachytherapy, references current published results and examines radiation protection issues.