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BJU Int. 2012 Jan;109(2):220-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2011.10280.x. Epub 2011 Jul 6.

Erectile dysfunction is predictive of all-cause mortality in patients with prostate cancer treated with permanent interstitial brachytherapy.

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  • 1Tacoma/Valley Radiation Oncology Centers, Tacoma, WA, USA.



To evaluate the relationship between pre-treatment erectile function and all-cause mortality in patients with prostate cancer treated with brachytherapy.


In all, 1279 consecutive patients with clinically localized prostate cancer and pre-implant erectile function assessed by the International Index of Erectile Function-6 (IIEF-6) underwent brachytherapy. Potency was defined as an IIEF-6 score of ≥13 without pharmacological or mechanical support. Patients were stratified into IIEF-6-score cohorts (≤12, 13-23 and 24-30). The median follow-up was 5.0 years.


The 8-year overall survival (OS) of the study population was 85.1%. The 8-year OS for IIEF-6scores ≤12, 13-23 and 24-30 were 78.0%, 92.8% and 91.4%, respectively (P < 0.001). Cardiovascular events accounted for a significant portion of deaths in each IIEF-6 group. When combined with other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, an IIEF-6 score of ≤12 had an additive effect on all-cause mortality (IIEF-6 score of ≤12 and less than two comorbidities vs two or more comorbidities were 18.2% and 32.1%).


A pre-implant IIEF-6score of ≤12 was associated with a higher incidence of all-cause mortality. Pre-treatment erectile dysfunction is a surrogate for underlying vascular pathology, probably explaining the lower OS in this subset of patients. Aggressive treatment of medical co-morbidity is warranted to impactOS.

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