Prostate cancer patients who receive the optimum radiation dose on the same day as their brachytherapy implant may have a lower risk of relapse, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University Hospital of Navarre.

The researchers analyzed data from 220 patients suffering from low-risk prostate cancer who had been treated with iodine-125 brachytherapy seed and found that the radiation dose given during brachytherapy influences patient survival.

Researchers reported that on the day of the brachytherapy implant, patients who received a dose of less than 147 Gy showed a greater risk of relapse than those with 147 Gy or more. Specifically, researchers achieved control of the illness in 94.4% of those patients with an optimum implant level, compared to 75.5% for those who received a dose less than 147 Gy. According to the study’s authors, the results represent almost 20 percentage points difference and it should be remembered that an optimum implant means cure in 95% of cases.

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“At the University Hospital of Navarre, we wish to know from the very day of the implant if the dose is suitable; otherwise, we can make an on-the-spot adjustment, both to ensure the efficacy of the treatment as well as to avoid any subsequent displacement to the patient,” explained Rafael Martínez-Monge, MD, Director of the Department of the Radiotherapy Oncology Clinic.

The study’s findings were published in Brachytherapy (2010 Jan-Mar;9(1):8-14).