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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2012 Jan 1;82(1):222-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2010.09.021. Epub 2010 Dec 14.

High-dose-rate brachytherapy boost for prostate cancer: comparison of two different fractionation schemes.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, University of California, San Francisco Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, California 94115, USA.



This is a retrospective study comparing our experience with high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy boost for prostate cancer, using two different fractionation schemes, 600 cGy × 3 fractions (patient group 1) and 950 cGy × 2 fractions (patient group 2).


A total of 165 patients were treated for prostate cancer using external beam radiation therapy up to a dose of 45 Gy, followed by an HDR brachytherapy prostate radiation boost. Between July 1997 and Nov 1999, 64 patients were treated with an HDR boost of 600 cGy × 3 fractions; and between June 2000 and Nov 2005, 101 patients were treated with an HDR boost of 950 cGy × 2 fractions. All but 9 patients had at least one of the following risk features: pretreatment prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level >10, a Gleason score ≥7, and/or clinical stage T3 disease.


Median follow-up was 105 months for group 1 and 43 months for group 2. Patients in group 2 had a greater number of high-risk features than group 1 (p = 0.02). Adjusted for comparable follow-up, there was no difference in biochemical no-evidence-of-disease (bNED) rate between the two fractionation scheme approaches, with 5-year Kaplan-Meier estimates of 93.5% in group 1 and 87.3% in group 2 (p = 0.19). The 5-year estimates of progression-free survival were 86% for group 1 and 83% for group 2 (p = 0.53). Among high-risk patients, there were no differences in bNED or PFS rate due to fractionation.


Results were excellent for both groups. Adjusted for comparable follow-up, no differences were found between groups.

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