Single High Dose of Brachytherapy Is Effective Against Prostate Cancer, Study Finds

Single High Dose of Brachytherapy Is Effective Against Prostate Cancer, Study Finds
A single high-dose brachytherapy treatment is as effective against localized prostate cancer as many low doses over time, and is safe, according to a study. The research, “Favorable Preliminary Outcomes for Men With Low- and Intermediate-risk Prostate Cancer Treated With 19-Gy Single-fraction High-dose-rate Brachytherapy,” was published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics. Brachytherapy is a common form of radiation treatment against prostate cancer. It involves placing a sealed radiation source inside or next to a tumor, sparing adjacent healthy tissue. Reducing adjacent healthy tissues' exposure to radiation is particularly important in treating prostate tumors, because they are surrounded by key body structures. Doctors can administer either low doses or high doses of brachytherapy. Low-dose-rate (LDR) brachytherapy involves the permanent implanting of radioactive seeds in a tumor, where they release low levels of radiation for months. The high-dose-rate (HDR) therapy involves implanting a radiation seed for one treatment, then removing it. Patients usually receive HDR brachytherapy in four to nine treatment sessions, however -- not one. Although the number of sessions can be reduced by increasing the dose in each session, there are safety concerns. To start with, there is limited data about the toxicity of escalated brachytherapy doses. Now, researchers have found that patients who receive a single 19-Gy dose of HDR chemotherapy have similar outcomes as those receiving LDR brac
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