Brachytherapy decreases risk of prostate cancer five-year recurrence

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According to results presented at the 3rd ESTRO Forum in Barcelona, Spain, researchers have found that men with prostate cancer who received permanent radioactive implants (brachytherapy) were twice as likely to be cancer-free 5 years later than those who received dose-escalated external beam radiotherapy.

For the study, researchers enrolled 398 men with localized prostate cancer who were at high risk for treatment failure. All patients initially received 8 months of androgen deprivation therapy followed by external beam radiotherapy to the prostate and lymph nodes.

Then, half of the patients received low-dose-rate prostate brachytherapy while the other half received additional dose-escalated external beam radiation therapy.

"This study illustrates very nicely how the best results can be obtained by combining various treatment options instead of trying to get the most out of one single modality. Brachytherapy is an extremely efficient and safe radiation oncology modality, and this trial shows that it can have a wider field of applicability than simply in very localised and low risk tumors when combined with other techniques - in this case, androgen deprivation therapy and external bean radiation therapy," said Philip Poortmans, MD, PhD, President of ESTRO.

Optimizing quality and safety of high dose-rate brachytherapy
Men with prostate cancer who received permanent radioactive implants (brachytherapy) were twice as likely to be cancer-free 5 years later.
Results from a randomised controlled trial to compare the use of permanent radioactive implants with dose-escalated external beam radiotherapy in patients with prostate cancer show that the men who received brachytherapy were twice as likely to be cancer-free five years later.
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