High-dose-rate brachytherapy as a monotherapy for favorable-risk prostate cancer: A phase II trial

Maroie Barkati, Scott G. Williams, Farshad Foroudi, Keen Hun Tai, Sarat Chander, Sylvia van Dyk, Andrew See, Gillian M. Duchesne

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Purpose: There are multiple treatment options for favorable-risk prostate cancer. High-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy as a monotherapy is appealing, but its use is still investigational. A Phase II trial was undertaken to explore the value of such treatment in low-to-intermediate risk prostate cancer. Methods and Materials: This was a single-institution, prospective study. Eligible patients had low-risk prostate cancer features but also Gleason scores of 7 (51% of patients) and stage T2b to T2c cancer. Treatment with HDR brachytherapy with a single implant was administered over 2 days. One of four fractionation schedules was used in a dose escalation study design: 3 fractions of 10, 10.5, 11, or 11.5 Gy. Patients were assessed with the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 2.0 for urinary toxicity, the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group/European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer scoring schema for rectal toxicity, and the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite (EPIC) questionnaire to measure patient-reported health-related quality of life. Biochemical failure was defined as a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) nadir plus 2 ng/ml. Results: Between 2003 and 2008, 79 patients were enrolled. With a median follow-up of 39.5 months, biochemical relapse occurred in 7 patients. Three- and 5-year actuarial biochemical control rates were 88.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 78.0-96.2%) and 85.1% (95% CI, 72.5-94.5%), respectively. Acute grade 3 urinary toxicity was seen in only 1 patient. There was no instance of acute grade 3 rectal toxicity. Rates of late grade 3 rectal toxicity, dysuria, hematuria, urinary retention, and urinary incontinence were 0%, 10.3%, 1.3%, 9.0%, and 0%, respectively. No grade 4 or greater toxicity was recorded. Among the four (urinary, bowel, sexual, and hormonal) domains assessed with the EPIC questionnaire, only the sexual domain did not recover with time. Conclusions: HDR brachytherapy as a monotherapy for favorable-risk prostate cancer, administered using a single implant over 2 days, is feasible and has acceptable acute and late toxicities. Further follow-up is still required to better evaluate the efficacy of such treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1889-1896
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Brachytherapy
  • High-dose rate
  • Prostate cancer
  • Quality of life
  • Toxicity

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