High-Dose-Rate Prostate Brachytherapy: An Excellent Accelerated-Hypofractionated Treatment for Favorable Prostate Cancer

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The radiobiology of prostate cancer appears to favor large fractions. Accelerated hypofractionation treatments may therefore be used to improve the therapeutic ratio, particularly when the doses to rectum and bladder are kept below the prostate dose. The 5-year experience at William Beaumont Hospital (WBH) and the California Endocurietherapy Center (CET) with accelerated-hypofractionated high-dose-rate (HDR) monotherapy in favorable prostate cancer is presented.

Materials and Methods:

Between 1993 and 2004, 454 patients were treated with brachytherapy of which 248 treated with HDR and 206 patients treated with low-dose-rate Palladium (LDR-Pd103). The WBH-HDR dose was 38 Gy, in 4 fractions, twice a day. The CET-HDR dose was 42 Gy in 6 fractions in 2 separate implants 1 week apart. The WBH-LDR dose was 120 Gy.


Median follow-up was 4.8 years. The 5-year Phoenix biochemical control (BC) was 89%, 91%, and 88% for WBH-LDR, WBH- HDR, and CET-HDR, respectively. The majority of complications were grade 1. HDR was associated with less acute grade 1 to 3 dysuria 60% versus 39%, (P < 0.001), urinary frequency/urgency 90% to58% (P < 0.001), and rectal pain 17% to 6.5% (P < 0.001). Long-term urinary frequency/urgency 54% versus 43%, (P = 0.03) and dysuria 22% versus 15% were less with HDR. The 5-year actuarial impotence rate was 30% for LDR and 20% for HDR (P = 0.23).


Although the same 5-year BC rates were achieved with HDR (248 patients) and LDR (206 patients) monotherapy, HDR brachytherapy was associated with less acute and chronic genitourinary and gastrointestinal toxicities. As another accepted standard of care, accelerated hypofractionated HDR monotherapy is target specific and efficient radiobiologically than EBRT which has many smaller doses per fraction. It could be considered today as the best option in accelerated hypofractionated prostate cancer treatment.

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