In a nutshell
This study examined if single fraction, high dose brachytherapy for low and medium risk prostate cancer is safe and effective. This study concluded that this treatment for prostate cancer is safe and effective, however, it should not be used outside of clinical trials.
Prostate cancer can be treated using surgery or radiation therapy. Brachytherapy treats prostate cancer by inserting a radioactive implant device into the cancer tissue. The radiation can be delivered as a low-dose (several days or longer) or high-dose (for a few minutes) treatment. This depends on the length of time the radioactive implant remains in the cancer tissue.
It is not known if one high dose brachytherapy treatment for prostate cancer is safe and effective in the long term.
Methods & findings
68 patients with low- and medium-risk prostate cancer were included in this study. They were followed up for an average of 3.9 years. Patients had the radioactive implant surgically inserted. One fraction of high-dose (19 Gy) brachytherapy was delivered.
The estimated 5-year survival rate without return of the cancer was 77.2%. This was similar in patients who had both low and intermediate risk cancer. 18.8% of patients had a return of the cancer localized to the prostate. This occurred on average 4 years after treatment.
Common chronic (occurring over a long time) side effects of this treatment included frequent urination (35.3%) and difficulty passing urine (33.8%). Other genital and urinary tract side effects were seen in 42.6% of patients. Most of these side effects were mild and moderate.
The bottom line
This study concluded that single fraction, high dose brachytherapy for prostate cancer is safe. However, the authors suggested that the dose used may not be adequate to use, as the rate of relapse was higher than expected.
The fine print
This study included a small number of patients, larger studies are needed.
Published By :
International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
Feb 13, 2019
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