Secondary Urethral Malignancies Following Prostate Brachytherapy.

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To understand urethral secondary malignancies among patients treated with brachytherapy (BRT) for primary prostate cancer.


Institutional retrospective review identified 13 patients evaluated from 2003 to 2014 with urethral cancer and history of BRT monotherapy for prostate cancer. All patients were biochemically free of their primary disease and radiation-associated secondary malignancies (RASMs) were confirmed pathologically to be histologically distinct from primary tumor. BRT characteristics, patient age, presentation, staging workup, and clinical course were evaluated.


The mean time from BRT to presenting symptoms of hematuria, urinary retention, and/or renal failure was 71 months. Symptom onset to RASM diagnosis interval was 24 months. Mean time from BRT to RASM diagnosis was 95 months. Eighty-five percent of patients had an undetectable prostate-specific antigen level (<0.2 ng/mL) at last follow-up. Types of RASM included sarcomatoid carcinoma (6), small cell carcinoma (2), urothelial carcinoma with squamous differentiation (2), squamous cell carcinoma (1), rhabdomyosarcoma (1), and urothelial carcinoma (1). A majority of patients were diagnosed with advanced disease with either distant metastases (54%) or local progression (23%). Ten patients died during this study period with median time to death after RASM diagnosis of 6 months.


RASMs localized to the posterior urethra displayed advanced disease and high mortality rates. Refractory lower urinary tract symptoms, hematuria, and history of prostate BRT should raise suspicion for urethral RASMs. Further studies are warranted to determine patient and disease characteristics that correlate with disease-specific mortality of secondary urethral malignancies.

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