A systematic review of brachytherapy. Is it an effective and safe treatment for localised prostate cancer?

Aust Fam Physician. 2004 Jul;33(7):525-9.


Background: Brachytherapy is a promising treatment for prostate cancer as it may have reduced rates of impotence and incontinence.

Objective: General practitioners can influence the treatment patients receive by their referral patterns, so it is important they understand the effectiveness and safety of treatment. We reviewed the primary literature on brachytherapy as sole therapy for localised prostate cancer.

Discussion: Although there have been many studies on the safety and effectiveness of brachytherapy, there have been no trials of brachytherapy versus other treatments that would control for factors such as tumour stage, grade, or initial prostate specific antigen levels. Brachytherapy for localised prostate cancer appears to have equivalent survival rates to surgery and lower rates of impotence and urinary incontinence.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Brachytherapy / adverse effects
  • Brachytherapy / methods*
  • Erectile Dysfunction / etiology
  • Family Practice / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Staging / methods
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urethral Stricture / etiology
  • Urinary Incontinence / etiology
  • Urinary Retention / etiology