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Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2007;10(2):189-93. Epub 2006 Dec 26.

An analysis of erectile function after intensity modulated radiation therapy for localized prostate carcinoma.

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Department of Radiology, Division of Radiation Oncology, National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD 20889, USA.


Radiation therapy for prostate cancer can cause erectile dysfunction (ED). Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) can reduce the amount of radiation to surrounding tissues associated with ED. We characterize the incidence of and factors associated with ED in prostate cancer patients after IMRT at the National Naval Medical Center (NNMC). Patients potent by definition of the Sexual Health Inventory for Men (SHIM) before treatment completed the specific erectile questions of the SHIM after IMRT. Statistical analyses were performed to examine the relationships between several factors and ED. Thirty-two of 45 patients with mean age of 68.2 years (50-86 years) completed the SHIM. The median follow-up was 36.8 months (16-63.6 months) as defined by the time from completion of therapy to reassessment with the SHIM. Eight of 32 patients (25%) had no post-treatment ED (SHIM score 22-25), three of 32 (9%) had mild post-treatment ED (SHIM score 17-21), five of 32 (16%) had mild to moderate ED (SHIM score 12-16), five of 32 (16%) had moderate ED (SHIM score 8-11) and 11 of 32 (34%) had severe post-treatment ED (SHIM score<8). Post-treatment potency was significantly associated with the pre-treatment SHIM score (P=0.001) and history of hypertension (P=0.03). The mean radiation dose to the penile bulb and volume of penile bulb treated were not associated with post-treatment potency (P=0.38, 0.76, respectively). IMRT maintains potency in the majority of patients. This analysis compares favorably in preserving erectile function to previously reported series using conventional external beam radiation therapy techniques. The dose of radiation received by the penile bulb and volume of penile bulb were not associated with post-treatment ED in this analysis.

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