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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2001 Aug 1;50(5):1235-42.

Potency after permanent prostate brachytherapy for localized prostate cancer.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center at Mercy Medical Center, Rockville Center, NY 11570, USA.



The evaluation of potency preservation after treatment of localized prostate cancer with transperineal permanent prostate brachytherapy (PPB) and the efficacy of sildenafil were studied.


This study comprised 482 patients who were able to maintain an erection suitable for intercourse before treatment from a cohort of 1166 patients with clinically localized prostate cancer treated with PPB. All patients have been followed prospectively, and actuarial analysis was performed to assess potency preservation over time. Patients treated with sildenafil were evaluated as to its efficacy.


The median follow-up of this cohort was 34 months (6--92), with a median age of 68 years (47--80). Potency was preserved in 311 of the 482 patients, with a 5-year actuarial potency rate of 52.7%. The 5-year actuarial potency rate for patients treated with PPB as monotherapy was 76%, and, for those treated with combination external beam radiotherapy (EBT) + PPB, 56% (p = 0.08). Patients treated with neoadjuvant androgen deprivation (NAAD) + PPB had a 5-year potency rate of 52%, whereas those with combination EBT + PPB + NAAD had a potency rate of 29% (p = 0.13). Cox regression analysis identified that pretreatment use of NAAD and patient age predicted for impotence (p = 0.0001 and 0.04, respectively). Of 84 patients treated with sildenafil, 52 had a successful outcome (62%). The response to sildenafil was significantly better in those patients not treated with NAAD (p = 0.04).


The actuarial potency rates at 5 years for patients treated with PPB are lower than generally acknowledged, except for those patients treated with PPB as monotherapy. Patients who received sildenafil exhibited improved potency in a majority of cases.

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