Wayne M. Butler, PhD | Authors

Interstitial Brachytherapy Should Be Standard of Care for Treatment of High-Risk Prostate Cancer

August 01, 2008

Given the poor outcomes observed with radical prostatectomy (RP) and external-beam radiation therapy (EBRT), some in the urologic community contend that high-risk disease is not curable with currently available treatment strategies.[1,2] In fact, there is a growing contingent of clinicians who advocate the use of chemotherapy in conjunction with RP. With the established efficacy of brachytherapy, these efforts are likely excessive.

Permanent Prostate Brachytherapy: Is Supplemental External-Beam Radiation Therapy Necessary?

April 30, 2006

Permanent prostate brachytherapy with or without supplemental therapies is a highly effective treatment for clinically localized prostate cancer, with biochemical outcomes and morbidity profiles comparing favorably with competing local modalities. However, the absence of prospective randomized brachytherapy trials evaluating the role of supplemental external-beam radiation therapy (XRT) has precluded the development of evidence-based treatment algorithms for the appropriate inclusion of such treatment. Some groups advocate supplemental XRT for all patients, but the usefulness of this technology remains largely unproven and has been questioned by recent reports of favorable biochemical outcomes following brachytherapy used alone in patients at higher risk. Given that brachytherapy can be used at high intraprostatic doses and can obtain generous periprostatic treatment margins, the use of supplemental XRT may be relegated to patients with a high risk of seminal vesicle and/or pelvic lymph node involvement. Although morbidity following brachytherapy has been acceptable, supplemental XRT has shown an adverse impact on long-term quality of life. The completion of ongoing prospective randomized trials will help define the role of XRT as a supplement to permanent prostate brachytherapy.

Patient Selection for Prostate Brachytherapy: More Myth Than Fact

April 01, 2004

Following permanent prostatebrachytherapy with or withoutsupplemental external-beamradiation therapy, encouraging longtermbiochemical outcomes-includinga morbidity profile that comparesfavorably with competing local modalities-have been reported forpatients with low-, intermediate-, andhigh-risk features.[1,2] The efficacyand morbidity of prostate brachytherapyare dependent on implantquality. Substantial differences havebeen reported in the incidence andclinical course of brachytherapyrelatedmorbidities, with many of theconflicts likely related to patientselection, technical differences intreatment planning, intraoperativetechnique, or variation in patient managementphilosophies.[3-6]

Management of Sexual Dysfunction After Prostate Brachytherapy

January 01, 2003

Erectile dysfunction is a common sequela following potentiallycurative local treatment for early-stage carcinoma of the prostategland. With larger studies and longer follow-up, it is clear that erectiledysfunction following prostate brachytherapy is more common thanpreviously reported, with a myriad of previously unrecognized sexualsymptoms. Approximately 50% of patients develop erectile dysfunctionwithin 5 years of implantation. Several factors including preimplantpotency, patient age, the use of supplemental external-beam irradiation,radiation dose to the prostate gland, radiation dose to the bulb ofthe penis, and diabetes mellitus appear to exacerbate brachytherapyrelatederectile dysfunction. The majority of patients with brachytherapy-induced erectile dysfunction respond favorably to sildenafil citrate(Viagra). Despite reports questioning the potency-sparing advantageassociated with brachytherapy, recent elucidations of brachytherapyrelatederectile dysfunction may result in refinement of treatmenttechniques, an increased likelihood of potency preservation, andultimately, improved quality of life.