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Urol Clin North Am. 2003 Nov;30(4):737-50, viii-ix.

Brachytherapy for prostate cancer: follow-up and management of treatment failures.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, 333 Cottman Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19111, USA.


The use of prostate brachytherapy for the treatment of early-stage, low-grade, low-volume carcinoma of the prostate continues to rise. Given the prolonged natural history of these early lesions, treatment failures may take many years or even a decade or more before becoming clinically evident. It is therefore likely that as the brachytherapy data mature, clinicians will be asked to help manage a potentially large cohort of men who have failed this local therapy--a scenario that will provide a number of unique challenges for the treatment of the disease and the management of the lower urinary tract. This article offers a contemporary review and suggestions with regard to the follow-up of patients who have undergone prostate brachytherapy, including low-dose rate permanent implants and high-dose rate temporary implants for the management of localized prostate cancer. In addition, current controversies in defining biochemical failure following radioactive implantation--including important data regarding the "prostate-specific antigen bounce" phenomenon--are discussed. Finally, a comprehensive review of the management of local recurrence following brachytherapy is offered.

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