Purpose: A well-established body of literature supports the use of high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy as definitive treatment for localized prostate cancer. Most of the articles describe HDR as a boost with adjuvant external beam radiation, but there is a growing experience with HDR monotherapy.
Methods and materials: The American Brachytherapy Society has convened a group of expert practitioners and physicists to develop guidelines for the use of HDR in the management of prostate cancer. This involved an extensive literature review and input from an expert panel.
Results: Despite a wide variation in doses and fractionation reported, HDR brachytherapy provides biochemical control rates of 85-100%, 81-100%, and 43-93% for low-, intermediate-, and high-risk prostate cancers, respectively. Severe toxicity is rare, with most authors reporting less than 5% Grade 3 or higher toxicity. Careful attention to patient evaluation for appropriate patient selection, meticulous technique, treatment planning, and delivery are essential for successful treatment.
Conclusion: The clinical outcomes for HDR are excellent, with high rates of biochemical control, even for high-risk disease, with low morbidity. HDR monotherapy, both for primary treatment and salvage, are promising treatment modalities.
Copyright © 2012 American Brachytherapy Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.