Analysis Shows Low Incidence of Short-Term Complications From Prostate Brachytherapy

In the United States, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men. Nearly 200,000 cases are diagnosed in each year. It is frequently treatable, especially when diagnosed at earlier stages.

A new analysis of nearly 600 men who received brachytherapy for prostate cancer shows that overall incidence of complications related to the procedure within four months of treatment is less than 20%. All patients were treated at Fox Chase Cancer Center.

Brachytherapy can be administered either as permanent low dose-rate (LDR) implant, or as temporary high dose-rate (HDR) implant. In this study, 97 men received HDR and 485 received LDR. Of the 582 men studied, 477 (82%) reported no complications. The most common complication within four months was lower urinary tract symptoms, which affected 8.4% of the patients.

Douglas Lee, DO, a radiation oncology resident at Fox Chase, led the study and presented it at an oral session at the 60th Annual ASTRO Meeting in San Antonio on October 21.

"There have been several studies of long-term complications associated with brachytherapy, but this is one of the largest analyses of the near-term procedural complications," Lee said. "Our findings add to the data showing that brachytherapy is safe for men treated at a single institution with expertise in this treatment."

— Source: Fox Chase Cancer Center