Prostate cancer: brachytherapy tied to lower risk for radiation-induced cancers

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  • Low dose rate (LDR) and high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy monotherapy resulted in low estimated risks for radiation-induced rectal and bladder cancer. 
  • LDR resulted in lower bladder cancer risks than HDR, and lower or similar risks of rectal cancer.

Key results

  • Absolute excess risks for second rectal or bladder cancer were low for both LDR and HDR. 
  • Average excess absolute risks of rectal and bladder cancer for LDR brachytherapy were 0.71/10,000 person-years (PY) and 0.84/10,000 PY, respectively. 
  • For HDR, the average excess absolute risks for second rectal and bladder cancers were 0.74/10,000 PY and 1.62/10,000 PY, respectively. 
  • The absolute differences between techniques were clinically irrelevant. 
  • Compared with external beam radiotherapy, LDR and HDR brachytherapy resulted in the lowest risks for second rectal and bladder cancer.

Study design