Urethral stricture following high dose rate brachytherapy for prostate cancer

Lisa Sullivan, Scott Garrick Williams, Keen Hun Tai, Farshad Foroudi, Laurence Cleeve, Gillian M. Duchesne

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108 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To evaluate the incidence, timing, nature and outcome of urethral strictures following high dose rate brachytherapy (HDRB) for prostate carcinoma. Methods and materials: Data from 474 patients with clinically localised prostate cancer treated with HDRB were analysed. Ninety percent received HDRB as a boost to external beam radiotherapy (HDRBB) and the remainder as monotherapy (HDRBM). Urethral strictures were graded according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events v3.0. Results: At a median follow-up of 41 months, 38 patients (8%) were diagnosed with a urethral stricture (6-year actuarial risk 12%). Stricture location was bulbo-membranous (BM) urethra in 92.1%. The overall actuarial rate of grade 2 or more BM urethral stricture was estimated at 10.8% (95% CI 7.0-14.9%), with a median time to diagnosis of 22 months (range 10-68 months). All strictures were initially managed with either dilatation (n = 15) or optical urethrotomy (n = 20). Second line therapy was required in 17 cases (49%), third line in three cases (9%) and 1 patient open urethroplasty (grade 3 toxicity). Predictive factors on multivariate analysis were prior trans-urethral resection of prostate (hazard ratio (HR) 2.81, 95% CI 1.15-6.85, p = 0.023); hypertension (HR 2.83, 95% CI 1.37-5.85, p = 0.005); and dose per fraction used in HDR (HR for 1 Gy increase per fraction 1.33, 95% CI 1.08-1.64, p = 0.008). Conclusions: BM urethral strictures are the most common late grade 2 or more urinary toxicity following HDR brachytherapy for prostate cancer. Most are manageable with minimally invasive procedures. Both clinical and dosimetric factors appear to influence the risk of stricture formation. Crown

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-236
Number of pages5
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • High dose rate brachytherapy
  • Prostate cancer
  • Radiotherapy
  • Stricture

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