eISSN: 2081-2841
ISSN: 1689-832X
Journal of Contemporary Brachytherapy
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vol. 16
Original paper

Acute toxicity outcomes from salvage high-dose-rate brachytherapy for locally recurrent prostate cancer after prior radiotherapy

Breanna Fang
Philip McGeachy
Siraj Husain
Tyler Meyer
Kundan Thind
Kevin Martell

  1. Department of Oncology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  2. Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, Michigan, United States
J Contemp Brachytherapy 2024; 16, 2: 111–120
Online publish date: 2024/04/30
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Isolated intra-prostatic recurrence of prostate adenocarcinoma after definitive radiotherapy presents a challenging clinical scenario. Salvage options require specialized expertise and pose risks of harm. This study aimed to present the acute toxicity results from using salvage high-dose-rate brachytherapy (sHDR-BT) as treatment in locally recurrent prostate cancer cases.

Material and methods:
Seventeen consecutive patients treated with sHDR-BT between 2019 and 2022 were evaluated retrospectively. Eligible patients had to have received curative intent prostate radiotherapy previously, and showed evidence of new biochemical failure. Evaluation with American Urological Association (AUA) and Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) symptom assessments were performed for each case.

The median (inter-quartile range) age prior to salvage treatment was 68 (66-74) years. The median post-sHDR-BT follow-up time was 20 (13-24) months. At baseline prior to sHDR-BT, 8 (47%) patients had significant lower urinary tract symptoms. The median AUA score prior to sHDR-BT was 7 (3-18). Three (18%) patients reported irregular bowel function and 2 (12%) reported hematochezia prior to sHDR-BT. One-month post-treatment, the median AUA score was 13 (8-21, p = 0.21). Using CTCAE scoring, there were no cases of grade 2+ bowel or rectal toxicity, and no cases of grade 3+ urinary toxicity. Reported grade 2 urinary toxicities included 10 (59%) cases of bladder spasms, 2 (12%) cases of incontinence, 1 (6%) urinary obstruction, and 4 (24%) reports of urinary urgency. All these adverse events were temporary.

This study adds to the existing literature by demonstrating that the acute toxicity profile of sHDR-BT is acceptable even without intra-operative magnetic resonance (MR) guidance or image registration. Further study is ongoing to determine long-term efficacy and toxicity of treatment.


high-dose-rate, brachytherapy, prostate cancer, HDR, salvage

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