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Single Institution Analysis Shows Low Incidence of Short-Term Complications from Prostate Brachytherapy

October 21, 2018

PHILADELPHIA (October 21, 2018) – A new analysis of nearly 600 men who received brachytherapy for prostate cancer shows that overall incidence of complications related to the procedure within four months of treatment is less than 20 percent. All patients were treated at Fox Chase Cancer Center.

Brachytherapy is a form of internal radiation therapy in which doctors implant permanent or temporary radioactive sources into the prostate. It confines the radiation to the tumor and reduces radiation exposure to the surrounding healthy tissues. It can be administered either as permanent low dose-rate (LDR) implant, or as temporary high dose-rate (HDR) implant. In this study, 97 men received HDR and 485 received LDR.

Of the 582 men studied, 477, or 82 percent reported no complications. The most common complication within four months was lower urinary tract symptoms, which affected 8.4 percent of the patients.

Douglas Lee, DO, a radiation oncology resident at Fox Chase, led the study and will present it at an oral session at the 60th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) San Antonio on October 21.

“There have been several studies of long-term complications associated with brachytherapy, but this is one of the largest analyses of the near-term procedural complications,” Lee said. “Our findings add to the data showing that brachytherapy is safe for men treated at a single institution with expertise in this treatment.”

In the United States, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men. Nearly 200,000 cases are diagnosed in each year. It is frequently treatable, especially when diagnosed at earlier stages.

       

The Hospital of Fox Chase Cancer Center and its affiliates (collectively “Fox Chase Cancer Center”), a member of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship and community outreach. 
For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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