Background: Interactive, transrectal, ultrasound-guided transperineal implantation is a new technique for performing permanent brachytherapy implants of the prostate. Prostate specific antigen (PSA) findings, biopsy results, and morbidity are examined to demonstrate its efficacy and safety in treating early stage prostate carcinoma.
Methods: Ninety-seven patients underwent permanent implants for classifications T1 to T2 adenocarcinoma of the prostate gland with a median follow-up of 18 months (range: 6-51 months). Seventy-nine patients had negative laparoscopic pelvic lymph node dissections prior to implantation. Patients with positive lymph nodes were not implanted. The radioactive isotope used was I-125 in 71 patients and Pd-103 in 26 patients.
Results: PSA failure was defined as two consecutive increases in PSA above the nadir level. The actuarial freedom from PSA failure (FFPF) at 2 years was 76% for the entire group. Stage significantly affected FFPF. Patients classified as T1b to T2a (35) had a FFPF of 91% at 2 years compared with 68.5% for patients classified as T2b to T2c (62) (P = 0.04). The pre-treatment PSA also significantly affected FFPF. Patients with PSA values of < or = 10 ng/mL (44) had a FFPF of 83% at 2 years. A similar rate of 82% was found in patients with PSA values of 10.1 to 20 ng/mL (29). Patients with PSA values > 20 ng/mL (24) had a significantly poorer FFPF at 2 years of 58% (P = 0.02). The PSA values of patients free from a PSA failure (82) ranged from 0.1 to 12.9 ng/mL with a median of 0.8 ng/mL. Transrectal prostate biopsies were performed 18 to 36 months posttreatment in 39 patients. Negative biopsies were found in 74% (29/39) of cases. The procedure was associated with an actuarial preservation of erectile function rate and sexual potency at 2 years of 96% and 79%, respectively. There were no cases of urinary incontinence or radiation cystitis. Associated morbidity included urinary retention requiring catheterization in 4% of the patients, outlet obstruction requiring a transurethral resection of the prostate in 2% and Grade 2 rectal complications in 1%.
Conclusions: Interactive, ultrasound-guided transperineal brachytherapy results in a low PSA failure rate, high negative biopsy rate, and is associated with low morbidity and preservation of erectile function.