Send to

Choose Destination
Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2015 Mar 24;135(6):548-52. doi: 10.4045/tidsskr.13.1404. eCollection 2015 Mar 24.

Low-dose-rate brachytherapy for low-grade prostate cancer.

[Article in English, Norwegian]

Author information

CC-Vest legesenter Oslo.
Kreftsenteret Aleris Helse Oslo.
Onkologisk avdeling Oslo universitetssykehus, Radiumhospitalet.



Prostate cancer is a radiosensitive type of cancer for which radiotherapy is used for both curative and palliative purposes. Low-dose-rate brachytherapy is an internal radiotherapy technique which allows high doses of radiation to be delivered to a tumour at short range and with a high degree of precision. We have conducted a systematic review of the evidence base for this treatment. The method is not established in Norway.


This review is based on systematic review articles and publications on treatment, outcomes, adverse effects and health economics considerations found by searching the databases Cochrane Library, Current Controlled Trials, Medline, Embase and NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence).


Subsequent to long-term observations of the efficacy, adverse effects and costs presented in 43 selected studies, including one randomised, controlled trial, there is still uncertainty as to which of the three methods low-dose brachytherapy, external radiotherapy and radical prostatectomy is optimal. The reason for this is the methodological differences in patient selection and in endpoints such as biochemical disease-free interval and cause-specific survival. The evidence base appears to suggest that low-dose-rate brachytherapy causes more frequent grade 2 and 3 doctor-reported urogenital adverse effects than prostatectomy, but better patient-reported sexual functions and fewer patients with urinary incontinence than after surgery. Low-dose-rate brachytherapy appears to be socioeconomically cost-effective.


The evidence base with respect to therapeutic effect and toxicity in men with low-risk prostate cancer treated with low-dose brachytherapy is regarded as solidly documented. However, there are no good prospective randomised multi-centre trials with overall survival as an endpoint.

Comment in

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Norwegian Medical Association Icon for Norwegian BIBSYS system
Loading ...
Support Center