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1.  Prostate-Specific Antigen Bounce Following Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer 
Introduction: Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) bounce after brachytherapy has been well-documented. This phenomenon has also been identified in patients undergoing stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). While the parameters that predict PSA bounce have been extensively studied in prostate brachytherapy patients, this study is the first to analyze the clinical and pathologic predictors of PSA bounce in prostate SBRT patients.
Materials and Methods: Our institution has maintained a prospective database of patients undergoing SBRT for prostate cancer since 2006. Our study population includes patients between May 2006 and November 2011 who have at least 18 months of follow-up. All patients were treated using the CyberKnife treatment system. The prescription dose was 35–36.25 Gy in five fractions.
Results: One hundred twenty patients were included in our study. Median PSA follow-up was 24 months (range 18–78 months). Thirty-four (28%) patients had a PSA bounce. The median time to PSA bounce was 9 months, and the median bounce size was 0.50 ng/mL. On univariate analysis, only younger age (p = 0.011) was shown to be associated with an increased incidence of PSA bounce. Other patient factors, including race, prostate size, prior treatment by hormones, and family history of prostate cancer, did not predict PSA bounces. None of the tumor characteristics studied, including Gleason score, pre-treatment PSA, T-stage, or risk classification by NCCN guidelines, were associated with increased incidence of PSA bounces. Younger age was the only statistically significant predictor of PSA bounce on multivariate analysis (OR = 0.937, p = 0.009).
Conclusion: PSA bounce, which has been reported after prostate brachytherapy, is also seen in a significant percentage of patients after CyberKnife SBRT. Close observation rather than biopsy can be considered for these patients. Younger age was the only factor that predicted PSA bounce.
PMCID: PMC3904182  PMID: 24478988
PSA; SBRT; SAbR; prostate cancer; CyberKnife
2.  Distinguishing prostate-specific antigen bounces from biochemical failure after low-dose-rate prostate brachytherapy 
The purpose of this study was to characterize benign prostate-specific antigen (PSA) bounces of at least 2.0 ng/mL and biochemical failure as defined by the Phoenix definition after prostate brachytherapy at our institution, and to investigate distinguishing features between three outcome groups: patients experiencing a benign PSA bounce, biochemical failure, or neither.
Material and methods
Five hundred and thirty consecutive men treated with low-dose-rate brachytherapy with follow-up of at least 3 years were divided into outcome groups experiencing bounce, failure, or neither. A benign bounce was defined as a rise of at least 2.0 ng/mL over the pre-rise nadir followed by a decline to 0.5 ng/mL or below, without intervention. Patient and tumor characteristics, treatment variables, and PSA kinetics were analyzed between groups.
Thirty-two (6.0%) men experienced benign bounces and 47 (8.9%) men experienced failure. Men experiencing a bounce were younger (p = 0.01), had a higher 6-month PSA level (p = 0.03), and took longer to reach a final nadir (p < 0.01). Compared to the failure group, men with bounce had a lower pre-treatment PSA level (p = 0.01) and experienced a rise of at least 2.0 ng/mL that occurred sooner after the implant (p < 0.01) with a faster PSA doubling time (p = 0.01). Only time to PSA rise independently differentiated between bounce and failure (p < 0.01), with a benign bounce not being seen after 36 months post-treatment. Prostate-specific antigen levels during a bounce reached levels as high as 12.6 ng/mL in this cohort, and in some cases took over 5 years to decline to below 0.5 ng/mL.
Although there is substantial overlap between the features of benign PSA bounces and failure, physicians may find it useful to evaluate the timing, absolute PSA level, initial response to treatment, and rate of rise when contemplating management for a PSA rise after low-dose-rate brachytherapy.
PMCID: PMC4200178  PMID: 25337125
brachytherapy; prostatic neoplasms; prostate-specific antigen; relapse
3.  Prostate-specific antigen bounce predicts for a favorable prognosis following brachytherapy: a meta-analysis 
Controversy exists whether the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) bounce phenomenon following definitive radiation for prostate cancer has prognostic significance. Here, we perform a meta-analysis to determine the association between PSA bounce and biochemical control after brachytherapy alone.
Material and methods
We reviewed Medline, EMBASE, and CENTRAL citations through February 2012. Studies that recorded biochemical failure rates in bouncers and non-bouncers were included. Hazard ratios describing the impact of bounce on biochemical failure were extracted directly from the studies or calculated from survival curves. Pooled estimates were obtained using the inverse variance method. A random effects model was used in cases of significant effect heterogeneity (p < 0.10 using Q test).
The final analysis included 3011 patients over 6 studies treated with brachytherapy. Meta-analysis revealed that patients experiencing PSA bounce after brachytherapy, conferred a decreased risk of biochemical failure (random effects model HR = 0.42, 95% CI: 0.30-0.59; p < 0.001).
Our meta-analysis determined that PSA bounce predicts for improved biochemical control following brachytherapy. To our knowledge, this is the first study describing this effect.
PMCID: PMC3899636  PMID: 24474969
brachytherapy; prostate cancer; PSA bounce
4.  Permanent 125I-seed prostate brachytherapy: early prostate specific antigen value as a predictor of PSA bounce occurrence 
To evaluate predictive factors for PSA bounce after 125I permanent seed prostate brachytherapy and identify criteria that distinguish between benign bounces and biochemical relapses.
Materials and methods
Men treated with exclusive permanent 125I seed brachytherapy from November 1999, with at least a 36 months follow-up were included. Bounce was defined as an increase ≥ 0.2 ng/ml above the nadir, followed by a spontaneous return to the nadir. Biochemical failure (BF) was defined using the criteria of the Phoenix conference: nadir +2 ng/ml.
198 men were included. After a median follow-up of 63.9 months, 21 patients experienced a BF, and 35.9% had at least one bounce which occurred after a median period of 17 months after implantation (4-50). Bounce amplitude was 0.6 ng/ml (0.2-5.1), and duration was 13.6 months (4.0-44.9). In 12.5%, bounce magnitude exceeded the threshold defining BF. Age at the time of treatment and high PSA level assessed at 6 weeks were significantly correlated with bounce but not with BF. Bounce patients had a higher BF free survival than the others (100% versus 92%, p = 0,007). In case of PSA increase, PSA doubling time and velocity were not significantly different between bounce and BF patients. Bounces occurred significantly earlier than relapses and than nadir + 0.2 ng/ml in BF patients (17 vs 27.8 months, p < 0.0001).
High PSA value assessed 6 weeks after brachytherapy and young age were significantly associated to a higher risk of bounces but not to BF. Long delays between brachytherapy and PSA increase are more indicative of BF.
PMCID: PMC3342157  PMID: 22449081
Brachytherapy; 125 iodine permanent seeds; Prostate cancer; PSA; Bounce; Biochemical relapse
5.  Outcomes of Gleason Score ≤8 among High Risk Prostate Cancer Treated with 125I Low Dose Rate Brachytherapy Based Multimodal Therapy 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2013;54(5):1207-1213.
To investigate the role of low dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy-based multimodal therapy in high-risk prostate cancer (PCa) and analyze its optimal indications.
Materials and Methods
We reviewed the records of 50 high-risk PCa patients [clinical stage ≥T2c, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) >20 ng/mL, or biopsy Gleason score ≥8] who had undergone 125I LDR brachytherapy since April 2007. We excluded those with a follow-up period <3 years. Biochemical recurrence (BCR) followed the Phoenix definition. BCR-free survival rates were compared between the patients with Gleason score ≥9 and Gleason score ≤8.
The mean initial PSA was 22.1 ng/mL, and mean D90 was 244.3 Gy. During a median follow-up of 39.2 months, biochemical control was obtained in 72% (36/50) of the total patients; The estimated 3-year BCR-free survival was 92% for the patients with biopsy Gleason scores ≤8, and 40% for those with Gleason scores ≥9 (p<0.001). In Cox multivariate analysis, only Gleason score ≥9 was observed to be significantly associated with BCR (p=0.021). Acute and late grade ≥3 toxicities were observed in 20% (10/50) and 36% (18/50) patients, respectively.
Our results showed that 125I LDR brachytherapy-based multimodal therapy in high-risk PCa produced encouraging relatively long-term results among the Asian population, especially in patients with Gleason score ≤8. Despite small number of subjects, biopsy Gleason score ≥9 was a significant predictor of BCR among high risk PCa patients after brachytherapy.
PMCID: PMC3743192  PMID: 23918571
Prostate cancer; brachytherapy; high risk group; biochemical recurrence
6.  Development of ProCaRS Clinical Nomograms for Biochemical Failure-free Survival Following Either Low-Dose Rate Brachytherapy or Conventionally Fractionated External Beam Radiation Therapy for Localized Prostate Cancer 
Cureus  null;7(6):e276.
Purpose: Although several clinical nomograms predictive of biochemical failure-free survival (BFFS) for localized prostate cancer exist in the medical literature, making valid comparisons can be challenging due to variable definitions of biochemical failure, the disparate distribution of prognostic factors, and received treatments in patient populations. The aim of this investigation was to develop and validate clinically-based nomograms for 5-year BFFS using the ASTRO II “Phoenix” definition for two patient cohorts receiving low-dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy or conventionally fractionated external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) from a large Canadian multi-institutional database.
Methods and Materials: Patients were selected from the GUROC (Genitourinary Radiation Oncologists of Canada) Prostate Cancer Risk Stratification (ProCaRS) database if they received (1) LDR brachytherapy ≥ 144 Gy (n=4208) or (2) EBRT ≥ 70 Gy  (n=822). Multivariable Cox regression analysis for BFFS was performed separately for each cohort and used to generate clinical nomograms predictive of 5-year BFFS. Nomograms were validated using calibration plots of nomogram predicted probability versus observed probability via Kaplan-Meier estimates.
Results: Patients receiving LDR brachytherapy had a mean age of 64 ± 7 years, a mean baseline PSA of 6.3 ± 3.0 ng/mL, 75% had a Gleason 6, and 15% had a Gleason 7, whereas patients receiving EBRT had a mean age of 70 ± 6 years, a mean baseline PSA of 11.6 ± 10.7 ng/mL, 30% had a Gleason 6, 55% had a Gleason 7, and 14% had a Gleason 8-10. Nomograms for 5-year BFFS included age, use and duration of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), baseline PSA, T stage, and Gleason score for LDR brachytherapy and an ADT (months), baseline PSA, Gleason score, and biological effective dose (Gy) for EBRT.
Conclusions: Clinical nomograms examining 5-year BFFS were developed for patients receiving either LDR brachytherapy or conventionally fractionated EBRT and may assist clinicians in predicting an outcome. Future work should be directed at examining the role of additional prognostic factors, comorbidities, and toxicity in predicting survival outcomes.
PMCID: PMC4494461  PMID: 26180700
radiotherapy; prostate cancer; ldr brachytherapy; fractionated external beam radiation therapy; biochemical failure; nomogram
7.  Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) for clinically localized prostate cancer: the Georgetown University experience 
Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) delivers fewer high-dose fractions of radiation which may be radiobiologically favorable to conventional low-dose fractions commonly used for prostate cancer radiotherapy. We report our early experience using SBRT for localized prostate cancer.
Patients treated with SBRT from June 2008 to May 2010 at Georgetown University Hospital for localized prostate carcinoma, with or without the use of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), were included in this retrospective review of data that was prospectively collected in an institutional database. Treatment was delivered using the CyberKnife® with doses of 35 Gy or 36.25 Gy in 5 fractions. Biochemical control was assessed using the Phoenix definition. Toxicities were recorded and scored using the CTCAE v.3. Quality of life was assessed before and after treatment using the Short Form-12 Health Survey (SF-12), the American Urological Association Symptom Score (AUA) and Sexual Health Inventory for Men (SHIM) questionnaires. Late urinary symptom flare was defined as an AUA score ≥ 15 with an increase of ≥ 5 points above baseline six months after the completion of SBRT.
One hundred patients (37 low-, 55 intermediate- and 8 high-risk according to the D’Amico classification) at a median age of 69 years (range, 48–90 years) received SBRT, with 11 patients receiving ADT. The median pre-treatment prostate-specific antigen (PSA) was 6.2 ng/ml (range, 1.9-31.6 ng/ml) and the median follow-up was 2.3 years (range, 1.4-3.5 years). At 2 years, median PSA decreased to 0.49 ng/ml (range, 0.1-1.9 ng/ml). Benign PSA bounce occurred in 31% of patients. There was one biochemical failure in a high-risk patient, yielding a two-year actuarial biochemical relapse free survival of 99%. The 2-year actuarial incidence rates of GI and GU toxicity ≥ grade 2 were 1% and 31%, respectively. A median baseline AUA symptom score of 8 significantly increased to 11 at 1 month (p = 0.001), however returned to baseline at 3 months (p = 0.60). Twenty one percent of patients experienced a late transient urinary symptom flare in the first two years following treatment. Of patients who were sexually potent prior to treatment, 79% maintained potency at 2 years post-treatment.
SBRT for clinically localized prostate cancer was well tolerated, with an early biochemical response similar to other radiation therapy treatments. Benign PSA bounces were common. Late GI and GU toxicity rates were comparable to conventionally fractionated radiation therapy and brachytherapy. Late urinary symptom flares were observed but the majority resolved with conservative management. A high percentage of men who were potent prior to treatment remained potent two years following treatment.
PMCID: PMC3610192  PMID: 23497695
Prostate cancer; SBRT; CyberKnife; SHIM; AUA; SF-12; Quality of life; Common Toxicity Criteria (CTC); Benign PSA bounce; Urinary symptom flare
8.  Rapid Increase of the Serum PSA Level in Response to High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound Therapy may be a Potential Indicator of Biochemical Recurrence of Low- and Intermediate-Risk Prostate Cancer 
To determine the incidence and magnitude of the rapid increase in the serum PSA (riPSA) level after high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) therapy for prostate cancer, and its correlation with clinical factors.
A total of 176 patients with localized prostate cancer underwent HIFU therapy. Serum riPSA was determined on the basis of the same criteria as those for “PSA bounce”, ie, an increase of ≥0.2 ng/ml with a spontaneous return to the prebounce level or lower. Patients were stratified according to neoadjuvant PSA level, T stage, risk group, age, Gleason score, pretreatment PSA level, post-treatment PSA nadir, and number of HIFU sessions.
riPSA was seen in 53% of patients during a median follow-up period of 43 months. A PSA nadir was achieved within 3 months for 85.1% of the treatments. In all cases, onset of riPSA was seen two days after HIFU therapy, and the median magnitude was 23.69 ng/ml. A magnitude of >2 ng/ml was seen in 89.4% of cases. Univariate analysis revealed that patients with riPSA were associated with usage of hormonal therapy and the post-treatment PSA nadir level. Multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed that riPSA and the number of HIFU sessions were predictors of biochemical recurrence. A significant statistical association was found between the presence of riPSA and the risk of biochemical failure only in the low- and intermediate-risk group.
Patients treated with HIFU who experience post-treatment riPSA may have an increased risk of biochemical recurrence, especially in non-high-risk patients.
PMCID: PMC3095026  PMID: 21603245
HIFU; prostate cancer; PSA
9.  The biochemical recurrence-free rate in patients who underwent prostate low-dose-rate brachytherapy, using two different definitions 
To assess the biochemical recurrence (BCR)-free rate in patients who underwent prostate low-dose-rate brachytherapy (LDR-brachytherapy), using two different definitions (Phoenix definition and PSA ≥ 0.2 ng/mL).
Two hundreds and three patients who were clinically diagnosed with localized prostate cancer (cT1c-2cN0M0) and underwent LDR-brachytherapy between July 2004 and September 2008 were enrolled. The median follow-up period was 72 months. We evaluated the BCR-free rate using the Phoenix definition and the PSA cut-off value of 0.2 ng/mL, as in the definition for radical prostatectomy. To evaluate an independent variable that can predict BCR, Cox’s proportional hazard regression analysis was carried out.
The BCR-free rate in patients using the Phoenix definition was acceptable (5-year: 92.8%). The 5- year BCR-free rate using the strict definition (PSA ≥ 0.2 ng/mL) was 74.1%. Cox’s proportional hazard regression analysis showed that a higher biological effective dose (BED) of ≥180 Gy2 was the only independent variable that could predict BCR (HR: 0.570, 95% C.I.: 0.327-0.994, p = 0.048). Patients with a higher BED (≥180 Gy2) had a significantly higher BCR-free rate than those with a lower BED (<180 Gy2) (5-year BCR-free rate: 80.5% vs. 67.4%).
A higher BED ≥180 Gy2 promises a favorable BCR-free rate, even if the strict definition is adopted.
PMCID: PMC4029825  PMID: 24885896
Prostate cancer; LDR-brachytherapy; Biochemical recurrence-free rate; BED
10.  Salvage brachytherapy in prostate local recurrence after radiation therapy: predicting factors for control and toxicity 
To evaluate efficacy and toxicity after salvage brachytherapy (BT) in prostate local recurrence after radiation therapy.
Methods and materials
Between 1993 and 2007, we retrospectively analyzed 56 consecutively patients (pts) undergoing salvage brachytherapy. After local biopsy-proven recurrence, pts received 145 Gy LDR-BT (37 pts, 66%) or HDR-BT (19 pts, 34%) in different dose levels according to biological equivalent doses (BED2 Gy). By the time of salvage BT, only 15 pts (27%) received ADT. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify predictors of biochemical control and toxicities. Acute and late genitourinary (GU) and gastrointestinal (GI) toxicities were graded using Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCv3.0).
Median follow-up after salvage BT was 48 months. The 5-year FFbF was 77%. HDR and LDR late grade 3 GU toxicities were observed in 21% and 24%. Late grade 3 GI toxicities were observed in 2% (HDR) and 2.7% (LDR). On univariate analysis, pre-salvage prostate-specific antigen (PSA) > 10 ng/ml (p = 0.004), interval to relapse after initial treatment < 24 months (p = 0.004) and salvage HDR-BT doses BED2 Gy level < 227 Gy (p = 0.012) were significant in predicting biochemical failure. On Cox multivariate analysis, pre-salvage PSA, and time to relapse were significant in predicting biochemical failure.
HDR-BT BED2 Gy (α/β 1.5 Gy) levels ≥ 227 (p = 0.013), and ADT (p = 0.049) were significant in predicting grade ≥ 2 urinary toxicity.
Prostate BT is an effective salvage modality in some selected prostate local recurrence patients after radiation therapy. Even, we provide some potential predictors of biochemical control and toxicity for prostate salvage BT, further investigation is recommended.
PMCID: PMC4019368  PMID: 24885287
Salvage brachytherapy; Prostate cancer; High-dose-rate-brachytherapy; Low-dose-rate-brachytherapy; Androgen deprivation therapy
11.  Use of alpha-1 adrenoceptor antagonists in patients who underwent low-dose-rate brachytherapy for prostate cancer - a randomized controlled trial of silodosin versus naftopidil - 
To evaluate the effect of two different alpha-1 adrenoceptor antagonists on lower urinary tract symptoms in patients who underwent LDR-brachytherapy.
A total of 141 patients who had been clinically diagnosed with localized prostate cancer and underwent LDR-brachytherapy were enrolled. Patients were randomized and allocated to two groups (silodosin 8 mg vs. naftopidil 75 mg). The primary endpoint was a change in the international prostate symptom score (IPSS) at 3 months after seed implantation. Secondary endpoints included the recovery rate of IPSS at 12 months after seed implantation, the change in IPSS and overactive bladder symptom score, uroflowmetric parameters, and frequency volume chart (FVC). To determine independent variables that can predict IPSS recovery, logistic regression analysis was carried out.
The mean change in the IPSS at 3 months after seed implantation in both groups was ⊿10.6 (naftopidil) and ⊿10.4 (silodosin), respectively. There was not a significant difference between the two groups (p=0.728). An increase in urinary frequency and a decrease in total urinated volume and mean voided volume were observed in FVC for 12 months after seed implantation. Multivariate analysis revealed that the urethral dose (UD30) was an independent predictive parameter of IPSS recovery. Patients with UD30 < 200Gy showed a higher recovery rate of IPSS at 12 months after seed implantation.
There was no significant difference of serial change in IPSS between silodosin and naftopidil during the first year after seed implantation. A lower dose on the urethra was an independent predictor of IPSS recovery at 12 months after seed implantation.
PMCID: PMC4300048  PMID: 25544509
Prostate cancer; LDR-brachytherapy; Alpha-1 adrenoceptor antagonist; Urinary morbidity; Randomized controlled study
12.  Impact of point A asymmetry on local control and survival for low dose-rate (LDR) brachytherapy in cervical cancer 
To evaluate whether Point A asymmetry in low dose-rate (LDR) brachytherapy is associated with local control (LC), disease-free survival (DFS) and/or overall survival (OS).
Material and methods
A retrospective analysis of disease control and survival outcomes was conducted for patients who underwent LDR brachytherapy for advanced cervical cancer. Institutional protocol entailed concurrent chemotherapy and whole pelvis radiotherapy (WPRT) over 5 weeks, followed by placement of Fletcher-Suit tandem and colpostat applicators at weeks 6 and 8. Objective Point A doses, 80-85 Gy, were accomplished by placement of Cesium-137 (Cs-137) sources. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to assess associations between disease control and survival endpoints with variables of interest.
The records of 50 patients with FIGO stage IB1-IVA cervical cancer undergoing LDR brachytherapy at our institution were identified. Thirty of these patients had asymmetry > 2.5%, and 11 patients had asymmetry > 5%. At a median survivor follow-up of 20.25 months, 15 patients had experienced disease failure (including 5 cervical/vaginal apex only failures and 2 failures encompassing the local site). Right/left dose asymmetry at Point A was associated with statistically significantly inferior LC (p = 0.035) and inferior DFS (p = 0.011) for patients with mean Point A dose of > 80 Gy. Insufficient evidence existed to conclude an association with OS.
LDR brachytherapy may be associated with clinically significant dose asymmetry. The present study demonstrates that patients with Point A asymmetry have a higher risk of failure for DFS and LC.
PMCID: PMC3551371  PMID: 23346133
brachytherapy; cervical; point A; Fletcher-Suit system
13.  Early observed transient prostate-specific antigen elevations on a pilot study of external beam radiation therapy and fractionated MRI guided High Dose Rate brachytherapy boost 
To report early observation of transient PSA elevations on this pilot study of external beam radiation therapy and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guided high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy boost.
Materials and methods
Eleven patients with intermediate-risk and high-risk localized prostate cancer received MRI guided HDR brachytherapy (10.5 Gy each fraction) before and after a course of external beam radiotherapy (46 Gy). Two patients continued on hormones during follow-up and were censored for this analysis. Four patients discontinued hormone therapy after RT. Five patients did not receive hormones. PSA bounce is defined as a rise in PSA values with a subsequent fall below the nadir value or to below 20% of the maximum PSA level. Six previously published definitions of biochemical failure to distinguish true failure from were tested: definition 1, rise >0.2 ng/mL; definition 2, rise >0.4 ng/mL; definition 3, rise >35% of previous value; definition 4, ASTRO defined guidelines, definition 5 nadir + 2 ng/ml, and definition 6, nadir + 3 ng/ml.
Median follow-up was 24 months (range 18–36 mo). During follow-up, the incidence of transient PSA elevation was: 55% for definition 1, 44% for definition 2, 55% for definition 3, 33% for definition 4, 11% for definition 5, and 11% for definition 6.
We observed a substantial incidence of transient elevations in PSA following combined external beam radiation and HDR brachytherapy for prostate cancer. Such elevations seem to be self-limited and should not trigger initiation of salvage therapies. No definition of failure was completely predictive.
PMCID: PMC1564026  PMID: 16914054
14.  Impact of post-implant dosimetric parameters on the quality of life of patients treated with low-dose rate brachytherapy for localised prostate cancer: results of a single-institution study 
To assess the relationship between dosimetric parameters and the quality of life (QL) outcomes of patients with low-intermediate-risk localised prostate cancer (LPC) treated with low-dose-rate brachytherapy (LDR-BT).
Materials and methods
We evaluated the participants in two consecutive prospective studies of the QL of patients treated with LDR-BT for LPC. QL was evaluated by means of a patient-completed questionnaire assessing non functional [physical (PHY) and psychological (PSY) well-being, physical autonomy (POW), social relationships (REL)] and functional scales [urinary (URI), rectal (REC), and sexual (SEX) function]; a scale for erectile function (ERE) was included in the second study. Urethra (D10 ≤ 210 Gy) and rectal wall constraints (V100 ≤ 0.5 cc) were used for pre-planning dosimetry and were assessed with post planning computerized tomography one month later for each patient.
QL was assessed in 251 LPC patients. Dosimetry did not influence the non-functional scales. As expected, a progressive impairment in sexual and erectile function was reported one month after LDR-BT, and became statistically significant after the third year. Rectal function significantly worsened after LDR-BT, but the differences progressively decreased after the 1-year assessment. Overall urinary function significantly worsened immediately after LDR-BT and then gradually improved over the next three years. Better outcomes were reported for V100 rectal wall volumes of ≤ 0.5 cc and D10 urethra values of ≤ 210 Gy.
The findings of this study show that dosimetric parameters influence only functional QL outcomes while non-functional outcomes are only marginally influenced.
PMCID: PMC4464626  PMID: 26054532
Brachytherapy; Dosimetry; Prostate cancer; Quality of life
15.  Brachytherapy for cervix cancer: low-dose rate or high-dose rate brachytherapy – a meta-analysis of clinical trials 
The literature supporting high-dose rate brachytherapy (HDR) in the treatment of cervical carcinoma derives primarily from retrospective series. However, controversy still persists regarding the efficacy and safety of HDR brachytherapy compared to low-dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy, in particular, due to inadequate tumor coverage for stage III patients. Whether LDR or HDR brachytherapy produces better results for these patients in terms of survival rate, local control rate and the treatment complications remain controversial.
A meta-analysis of RCT was performed comparing LDR to HDR brachytherapy for cervix cancer treated for radiotherapy alone. The MEDLINE, EMBASE, CANCERLIT and Cochrane Library databases, as well as abstracts published in the annual proceedings were systematically searched. We assessed methodological quality for each outcome by grading the quality of evidence using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) methodology. We used "recommend" for strong recommendations, and "suggest" for weak recommendations.
Pooled results from five randomized trials (2,065 patients) of HDR brachytherapy in cervix cancer showed no significant increase of mortality (p = 0.52), local recurrence (p = 0.68), or late complications (rectal; p = 0.7, bladder; p = 0.95 or small intestine; p = 0.06) rates as compared to LDR brachytherapy. In the subgroup analysis no difference was observed for overall mortality and local recurrence in patients with clinical stages I, II and III. The quality of evidence was low for mortality and local recurrence in patients with clinical stage I, and moderate for other clinical stages.
Our meta-analysis shows that there are no differences between HDR and LDR for overall survival, local recurrence and late complications for clinical stages I, II and III. By means of the GRADE system, we recommend the use of HDR for all clinical stages of cervix cancer.
PMCID: PMC2673206  PMID: 19344527
16.  Prostate-Specific Antigen Mass and Free Prostate-Specific Antigen Mass for Predicting the Prostate Volume of Korean Men With Biopsy-Proven Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia 
Korean Journal of Urology  2013;54(9):609-614.
It has been reported that prostate-specific antigen (PSA) correlates with prostate volume. Recently, some studies have reported that PSA mass (PSA adjusted for plasma volume) is more accurate than PSA at predicting prostate volume. In this study, we analyzed the accuracy of PSA and the related parameters of PSA mass, free PSA (fPSA), and fPSA mass in predicting prostate volume.
Materials and Methods
We retrospectively investigated 658 patients who underwent prostate biopsy from 2006 to 2012 and had a confirmed negative biopsy result. International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) questionnaire, PSA, fPSA, and prostate volume were investigated. PSA mass and fPSA mass were calculated by use of established formulas. The association between PSA-related parameters and IPSS and prostate volume was assessed by using Pearson correlation coefficient and receiver operating characteristic curves.
There was no significant difference between PSA and PSA mass, fPSA, or fPSA mass in predicting prostate volume except in obese patients (p-value of PSA-PSA mass for 40 cm3, 0.54; p-value of fPSA-fPSA mass for 40 cm3, 0.34). fPSA performed significantly better than PSA at predicting prostate volume (p-value for 40 cm3, <0.001). IPSS and the aforementioned PSA-related parameters were not significantly correlated.
PSA mass was not a better predictive value than PSA for estimating the prostate volume in Korean men except in obese men. This finding was also applicable to the relationship of fPSA and fPSA mass, which appeared to be more accurate predictors of prostate volume than either PSA or PSA mass.
PMCID: PMC3773591  PMID: 24044095
Benign prostatic hyperplasia; Prostate-specific antigen; ROC curve
17.  Pulmonary Metastases After Low-Dose-Rate Brachytherapy for Localized Prostate Cancer 
Korean Journal of Urology  2014;55(5):309-314.
To analyze unusual events and focus discussion on pulmonary metastasis in particular after low-dose-rate brachytherapy (LDR-BT) for prostate cancer (PCa).
Materials and Methods
A total of 616 consecutive patients who had undergone LDR-BT for clinically localized PCa at Jikei University Hospital between October 2003 and April 2010 were enrolled in this study. Follow-up information was summarized, and patterns of biochemical recurrence and clinical outcome were investigated.
Disease risk was stratified as low-risk in 231 patients, intermediate-risk in 365, and high-risk in 20, respectively. Of these patients, 269 (43.7%) had received hormonal therapy (HT) in combination with LDR-BT, and 80 (13.0%) had received external beam radiotherapy (EBRT). Average dosimetric parameter values with and without EBRT were 95.3% and 94.2% for V100, 132.8 Gy and 164.2 Gy for D90, and 180.6 Gy2 and 173.7 Gy2 for the biologically effective dose. Biochemical recurrence was noted in 14 patients (6.1%) in the low-risk group, 25 patients (6.8%) in the intermediate-risk group, and 6 patients (30.0%) in the high-risk group, respectively. In these cases of biochemical recurrence, 9 (64.3%), 13 (52.0%), and 4 patients (66.7%) in each respective risk group showed signs of clinical recurrence. Five patients (19.2%) with clinical recurrence developed pulmonary metastases, of which 4 were isolated lesions. All tumors responded favorably to subsequent HT.
LDR-BT for biologically aggressive PCa may be linked to possible pulmonary metastasis owing to tumor dissemination during seed implantation. This information is important in planning adequate treatment for these patients.
PMCID: PMC4026656  PMID: 24868334
Brachytherapy; Neoplasm metastasis; Prostate neoplasms
18.  Efficacy and Safety of High-Dose-Rate Brachytherapy of Single Implant with Two Fractions Combined with External Beam Radiotherapy for Hormone-Naïve Localized Prostate Cancer 
Cancers  2011;3(3):3585-3600.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy of a single implant with two fractions plus external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) for hormone-naïve prostate cancer in comparison with radical prostatectomy. Of 150 patients with localized prostate cancer (T1c–T2c), 59 underwent HDR brachytherapy plus EBRT, and 91 received radical prostatectomy. The median follow-up of patients was 62 months for HDR brachytherapy plus EBRT, and 64 months for radical prostatectomy. In patient backgrounds between the two cohorts, the frequency of T2b plus T2c was greater in HDR brachytherapy cohort than in prostatectomy cohort (27% versus 12%, p = 0.029). Patients in HDR brachytherapy cohort first underwent 3D conformal RT with four beams to the prostate to an isocentric dose of 50 Gy in 25 fractions and then, a total of 15–18 Gy in two fractions at least 5 hours apart. We prescribed 9 Gy/fraction for target (prostate gland plus 3 mm lateral outside margin and seminal vesicle) using CT image method for radiation planning. The total biochemical failure-free control rates (BF-FCR) at 3 and 5 years for the HDR brachytherapy cohort, and for the prostatectomy cohort were 92% and 85%, and 72% and 72%, respectively (significant difference, p = 0.0012). The 3-and 5-year BF-FCR in the HDR brachytherapy cohort and in the prostatectomy cohort by risk group was 100 and 100%, and 80 and 80%, respectively, for the low-risk group (p = 0.1418); 92 and 92%, 73 and 73%, respectively, for the intermediate-risk group (p = 0.0492); and 94 and 72%, 45 and 45%, respectively, for the high-risk group (p = 0.0073). After HDR brachytherapy plus EBRT, no patient experienced Grade 2 or greater genitourinay toxicity. The rate of late Grade 1 and 2 GI toxicity was 6% (n = 4). No patient experienced Grade 3 GI toxicity. HDR brachytherapy plus EBRT is useful for treating patients with hormone-naïve localized prostate cancer, and has low GU and GI toxicities.
PMCID: PMC3759211  PMID: 24212968
prostate cancer; high dose rate brachytherapy; external beam radiation therapy; radical prostatectomy
19.  Low-dose-rate or high-dose-rate brachytherapy in treatment of prostate cancer – between options 
Permanent low-dose-rate (LDR-BT) and temporary high-dose-rate (HDR-BT) brachytherapy are competitive techniques for clinically localized prostate radiotherapy. Although a randomized trial will likely never to be conducted comparing these two forms of brachytherapy, a comparative analysis proves useful in understanding some of their intrinsic differences, several of which could be exploited to improve outcomes. The aim of this paper is to look for possible similarities and differences between both brachytherapy modalities. Indications and contraindications for monotherapy and for brachytherapy as a boost to external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) are presented. It is suggested that each of these techniques has attributes that advocates for one or the other. First, they represent the extreme ends of the spectrum with respect to dose rate and fractionation, and therefore have inherently different radiobiological properties. Low-dose-rate brachytherapy has the great advantage of being practically a one-time procedure, and enjoys a long-term follow-up database supporting its excellent outcomes and low morbidity. Low-dose-rate brachytherapy has been a gold standard for prostate brachytherapy in low risk patients since many years. On the other hand, HDR is a fairly invasive procedure requiring several sessions associated with a brief hospital stay. Although lacking in significant long-term data, it possesses the technical advantage of control over its postimplant dosimetry (by modulating the source dwell time and position), which is absent in LDR brachytherapy. This important difference in dosimetric control allows HDR doses to be escalated safely, a flexibility that does not exist for LDR brachytherapy.
Radiobiological models support the current clinical evidence for equivalent outcomes in localized prostate cancer with either LDR or HDR brachytherapy, using current dose regimens. At present, all available clinical data regarding these two techniques suggests that they are equally effective, stage for stage, in providing high tumor control rates.
PMCID: PMC3635047  PMID: 23634153
brachytherapy; HDR; LDR; prostate cancer; seeds
20.  Salvage brachytherapy for seminal vesicle recurrence after initial brachytherapy for prostate cancer: a case report 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7:760.
To report the efficacy and safety of salvage brachytherapy for seminal vesicle recurrence after initial brachytherapy in a patient with prostate cancer. As far as we know, this is a first report of salvage brachytherapy for seminal vesicle recurrence in Japan.
Case presentation
A 70-year-old Japanese man with low-risk prostate cancer received low-dose-rate brachytherapy. Forty-two months after the seed implantation, he showed biochemical recurrence based on the nadir + 2 ng/mL definition. The prostate specific antigen (PSA) level was 5.11 ng/mL at 58 months after seed implantation. A saturation biopsy of the prostate showed no recurrence. Systemic screening also showed no distant metastases. However, T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) demonstrated a low intensity area at the base of the right seminal vesicle, which was strongly suggestive of recurrence. Sixty months after the initial therapy, a seminal vesicle biopsy confirmed recurrence with a Gleason score of 4 + 3 before salvage brachytherapy was performed. The prescribed dose was 145 Gy, the same as the dose of the initial therapy. One month later, the PSA level had rapidly declined to 0.898 ng/mL without androgen deprivation therapy. Ten months after the salvage brachytherapy, the PSA level reached 0.078 ng/mL. No adverse events were seen during the follow-up period.
We experienced a patient who was successfully treated with salvage brachytherapy for seminal vesicle recurrence. Salvage brachytherapy is one of the promising therapeutic options for recurrence after initial brachytherapy.
PMCID: PMC4216847  PMID: 25344831
Salvage brachytherapy; Seminal vesicle recurrence; Prostate cancer
21.  Analysis of prognostic factors in localized high-risk prostate cancer patients treated with HDR brachytherapy, hypofractionated 3D-CRT and neoadjuvant/adjuvant androgen deprivation therapy (trimodality therapy) 
Journal of Radiation Research  2013;55(3):527-532.
Trimodality therapy consisting of high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy combined with external beam radiation therapy (EBRT), neoadjuvant hormonal therapy (NHT) and adjuvant hormonal therapy (AHT) has been used to treat localized high-risk prostate cancer. In this study, an analysis of patients receiving the trimodality therapy was performed to identify prognostic factors of biochemical relapse-free survival (bRFS). Between May 2005 and November 2008, 123 high-risk prostate cancer patients (D'Amico classification) were treated with NHT prior to HDR brachytherapy combined with hypofractionated EBRT. Among these patients, 121 had completed AHT. The patients were assigned by time to be treated with a low-dose or high-dose arm of HDR brachytherapy with subsequent hypofractionated 3D conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT). Multivariate analysis was used to determine prognostic factors for bRFS. With a median follow-up of 60 months, the 5-year bRFS for all patients was 84.3% (high-dose arm, 92.9%; low-dose arm, 72.4%, P = 0.047). bRFS in the pre-HDR PSA ≤ 0.1 ng/ml subgroup was significantly improved compared with that in the pre-HDR PSA > 0.1 ng/ml subgroup (88.3% vs 68.2%, P = 0.034). On multivariate analysis, dose of HDR (P = 0.045, HR = 0.25, 95% CI = 0.038–0.97) and pre-HDR PSA level (P = 0.02 HR = 3.2, 95% CI = 1.18–10.16) were significant prognostic factors predicting bRFS. In high-risk prostate cancer patients treated with the trimodality therapy, the dose of HDR and pre-HDR PSA were significant prognostic factors. The pre-HDR PSA ≤ 0.1 subgroup had significantly improved bRFS. Further studies are needed to confirm the relevance of pre-HDR PSA in trimodality therapy.
PMCID: PMC4014157  PMID: 24351458
high-risk prostate cancer; HDR; trimodality therapy; PSA response
22.  Low-Dose-Rate Definitive Brachytherapy for High-Grade Vaginal Intraepithelial Neoplasia 
The Oncologist  2011;16(2):182-188.
The efficacy and safety results of treatment with low-dose-rate vaginal brachytherapy for grade 3 vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia over a 25-year period at Gustave Roussy Institute are presented. This treatment was found to be both safe and effective.
Learning Objectives
After completing this course, the reader will be able to: Utilize data supporting the efficacy of low-dose definitive brachytherapy to inform clinical decisions about treating women with high-grade vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia.Implement methods for delivering low-dose definitive brachytherapy that minimize toxicity.Communicate to patients the type and incidence of toxic events associated with low-dose definitive brachytherapy.
This article is available for continuing medical education credit at
Treatment of high-grade vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia (VAIN) is controversial and could include surgical excision, topical medication, brachytherapy, or other treatments. We report the results of low-dose-rate (LDR) vaginal brachytherapy for grade 3 VAIN (VAIN-3) over a 25-year period at Gustave Roussy Institute.
Patients and Methods.
We retrospectively reviewed the files of all patients treated at Gustave Roussy Institute for VAIN-3 since 1985. The treatment consisted of LDR brachytherapy using a personalized vaginal mold and delivered 60 Gy to 5 mm below the vaginal mucosa. All patients had at least an annual gynecological examination, including a vaginal smear.
Twenty-eight patients were eligible. The median follow-up was 41 months. Seven patients had a follow-up <2 years, and the median follow-up for the remaining 21 patients was 79 months. The median age at brachytherapy was 63 years (range, 38–80 years). Twenty-six patients had a history of VAIN recurring after cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and 24 had a previous hysterectomy. The median brachytherapy duration was 4.5 days. Median doses to the International Commission of Radiation Units and Measurements rectum and bladder points were 68 Gy and 45 Gy, respectively. The median prescription volume (60 Gy) was 74 cm3. Only one “in field” recurrence occurred, corresponding to a 5- and 10-year local control rate of 93% (95% confidence interval, 70%–99%). The treatment was well tolerated, with no grade 3 or 4 late toxicity and only one grade 2 digestive toxicity. No second cancers were reported.
LDR brachytherapy is an effective and safe treatment for vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia.
PMCID: PMC3228085  PMID: 21262875
Vaginal neoplasms; Carcinoma in situ; Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia; Brachytherapy
23.  Risk factors of PSA progression and overall survival in patients with localized and locally advanced prostate cancer treated with primary androgen deprivation therapy 
BMC Cancer  2015;15:420.
Primary androgen deprivation therapy (PADT) has played an important role in the treatment of prostate cancer. We sought to identify factors of PSA progression in our series of patients with localized and locally advanced prostate cancer treated with PADT.
Six-hundred forty-nine patients with localized and locally advanced prostate cancer who received PADT from 1998 to 2005 by Nara Uro-Oncology Research Group were enrolled. Age, T classification, stage, PSA level at diagnosis, Gleason score, laterality of cancer detected by biopsy and seminal vesicle involvement (SVI) were adopted as parameters of PSA progression. Cox’s proportional hazards model was used to determine the predictive factors for PSA progression.
The median follow-up period and the median PSA level at diagnosis were 49 months and 15 ng/mL. The 5-year disease specific survival rate, overall survival rate and PSA progression-free survival (PFS) rate were 97.9 %, 91.9 % and 71.2 %, respectively. The univariate analysis showed that the PSA level at diagnosis, Gleason score, laterality of cancer detected by biopsy and SVI were independent predictive parameters of PSA-PFS. However, by multivariate analysis, only laterality of cancer detected by biopsy (unilateral vs. bilateral) was an independent predictive parameter of PSA-PFS (p = 0.034). The patients were classified into new risk groups base on three factors: PSA level at diagnosis, Gleason score, and laterality of cancer detected by biopsy. The PSA-PFS rates at 5-years in the low- (none or one factor), intermediate- (two factors) and high-risk (three factors) groups were 78.2 %, 62.5 % and 46.9 % (p < 0.001), respectively.
In localized or locally advanced prostate cancer patients who received PADT, laterality of cancer detected by biopsy was a significant predictor associated with a longer PSA-PFS. Our new risk grouping indicates the usefulness of PSA-PFS.
PMCID: PMC4446859  PMID: 25990314
Localized and locally advanced prostate cancer; Primary androgen deprivation therapy; Risk factors
24.  Virtual HDR CyberKnife SBRT for Localized Prostatic Carcinoma: 5-Year Disease-Free Survival and Toxicity Observations 
Frontiers in Oncology  2014;4:321.
Purpose: Prostate stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) may substantially recapitulate the dose distribution of high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy, representing an externally delivered “Virtual HDR” treatment method. Herein, we present 5-year outcomes from a cohort of consecutively treated virtual HDR SBRT prostate cancer patients.
Methods: Seventy-nine patients were treated from 2006 to 2009, 40 low-risk, and 39 intermediate-risk, under IRB-approved clinical trial, to 38 Gy in four fractions. The planning target volume (PTV) included prostate plus a 2-mm volume expansion in all directions, with selective use of a 5-mm prostate-to-PTV expansion and proximal seminal vesicle coverage in intermediate-risk patients, to better cover potential extraprostatic disease; rectal PTV margin reduced to zero in all cases. The prescription dose covered >95% of the PTV (V100 ≥95%), with a minimum 150% PTV dose escalation to create “HDR-like” PTV dose distribution.
Results: Median pre-SBRT PSA level of 5.6 ng/mL decreased to 0.05 ng/mL 5 years out and 0.02 ng/mL 6 years out. At least one PSA bounce was seen in 55 patients (70%) but only 3 of them subsequently relapsed, biochemical-relapse-free survival was 100 and 92% for low-risk and intermediate-risk patients, respectively, by ASTRO definition (98 and 92% by Phoenix definition). Local relapse did not occur, distant metastasis-free survival was 100 and 95% by risk-group, and disease-specific survival was 100%. Acute and late grade 2 GU toxicity incidence was 10 and 9%, respectively; with 6% late grade 3 GU toxicity. Acute urinary retention did not occur. Acute and late grade 2 GI toxicity was 0 and 1%, respectively, with no grade 3 or higher toxicity. Of patient’s potent pre-SBRT, 65% remained so at 5 years.
Conclusion: Virtual HDR prostate SBRT creates a very low PSA nadir, a high rate of 5-year disease-free survival and an acceptable toxicity incidence, with results closely resembling those reported post-HDR brachytherapy.
PMCID: PMC4241836  PMID: 25505732
CyberKnife; prostate cancer; dosimetry; HDR; brachytherapy; image guided; stereotactic body radiotherapy
25.  Local prostate cancer radiotherapy after prostate-specific antigen progression during primary hormonal therapy 
The outcome of patients after radiotherapy (RT) for localized prostate cancer in case of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) progression during primary hormonal therapy (HT) is not well known.
A group of 27 patients presenting with PSA progression during primary HT for local prostate cancer RT was identified among patients who were treated in the years 2000–2004 either using external-beam RT (EBRT; 70.2Gy; n=261) or Ir-192 brachytherapy as a boost to EBRT (HDR-BT; 18Gy + 50.4Gy; n=71). The median follow-up period after RT was 68 months.
Median biochemical recurrence free (BRFS), disease specific (DSS) and overall survival (OS) for patients with PSA progression during primary HT was found to be only 21, 54 and 53 months, respectively, with a 6-year BRFS, DSS and OS of 19%, 41% and 26%. There were no significant differences between different RT concepts (6-year OS of 27% after EBRT and 20% after EBRT with HDR-BT).
Considering all 332 patients in multivariate Cox regression analysis, PSA progression during initial HT, Gleason score>6 and patient age were found to be predictive for lower OS (p<0.001). The highest hazard ratio resulted for PSA progression during initial HT (7.2 in comparison to patients without PSA progression during primary HT). PSA progression and a nadir >0.5 ng/ml during initial HT were both significant risk factors for biochemical recurrence.
An unfavourable prognosis after PSA progression during initial HT needs to be considered in the decision process before local prostate radiotherapy. Results from other centres are needed to validate our findings.
PMCID: PMC3551819  PMID: 23227960
Prostate cancer; Radiotherapy; Brachytherapy; Ir-192; Prostate-specific antigen; Hormone therapy

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