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Cancer. 2013 Feb 1;119(3):681-90. doi: 10.1002/cncr.27784. Epub 2012 Aug 14.

The addition of low-dose-rate brachytherapy and androgen-deprivation therapy decreases biochemical failure and prostate cancer death compared with dose-escalated external-beam radiation therapy for high-risk prostate cancer.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.



The objective of this study was to determine whether the addition of low-dose-rate brachytherapy or androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) improves clinical outcome in patients with high-risk prostate cancer (HiRPCa) who received dose-escalated radiotherapy (RT).


Between 1995 and 2010, 958 patients with HiRPCa were treated at Schiffler Cancer Center (n = 484) or at the University of Michigan (n = 474) by receiving either dose-escalated external-beam RT (EBRT) (n = 510; minimum prescription dose, 75 grays [Gy]; median dose, 78 Gy) or combined-modality RT (CMRT) consisting of (103) Pd implants (n = 369) or (125) I implants (n = 79) both with pelvic irradiation (median prescription dose, 45 Gy). The cumulative incidences of biochemical failure (BF) and prostate cancer-specific mortality (PCSM) were estimated by using the Kaplan-Meier method and Fine and Gray regression analysis.


The median follow-up was 63.2 months (interquartile range, 35.4-99.0 months), and 250 patients were followed for >8 years. Compared with CMRT, patients who received EBRT had higher prostate-specific antigen levels, higher tumor classification, lower Gleason sum, and more frequent receipt of ADT for a longer duration. The 8-year incidence BF and PCSM among patients who received EBRT was 40% (standard error, 38%-44%) and 13% (standard error, 11%-15%) compared with 14% (standard error, 12%-16%; P < .0001) and 7% (standard error 6%-9%; P = .003) among patients who received CMRT. On multivariate analysis, the hazard ratios (HRs) for BF and PCSM were 0.35 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.23-0.52; P < .0001) and 0.41 (95% CI, 0.23-0.75; P < .003), favoring CMRT. Increasing duration of ADT predicted decreased BF (P = .04) and PCSM (P = .001), which was greatest with long-term ADT (BF: HR, 0.33; P < .0001; 95% CI, 0.21-0.52; PCSM: HR, 0.30; P = .001; 95% CI, 0.15-0.6) even in the subgroup that received CMRT.


In this retrospective comparison, both low-dose-rate brachytherapy boost and ADT were associated with decreased risks of BF and PCSM compared with EBRT.

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