A recent study out of Spain is shedding more light on the benefits high-dose brachytherapy may hold for men who are diagnosed with low- to moderate-risk forms of prostate cancer. This highly targeted treatment is designed to enable men to receive the benefits of radiation while more readily sparing nearby healthy tissue from unnecessary damage. The study found that high-dose brachytherapy was very effective while also receiving strong satisfaction reports from patients.
High-dose brachytherapy involves the temporary implantation of tiny radioactive pellets directly into the prostate. These seeds are left in place for less than an hour so that they may directly target prostate cancer cells while avoiding as much nearby tissue as possible. Unlike standard brachytherapy, high-dose treatments do call for a hospital trip to fit a special template that enables the seeds to be implanted and then removed. Several treatments may be required over the course of a few weeks.
The study out of Spain focused on a group of men who all underwent this form of treatment. Men were followed over the course of more than 16 months. Researchers ultimately found that treatments were highly effective while also minimizing the risks of side effects. Of the 45 patients in the study, none experienced serious adverse side effects. Men who had normal sexual function before the treatment were also highly likely to retain it after. Nearly 60 percent reported retaining potency. Furthermore, six months out from treatment, almost 80 percent of the men reported being extremely satisfied with treatment and their quality of life.
Men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer are urged to review all treatment options, their potential benefits and risks with their healthcare providers. The best course of action will hinge on the specifics of a man’s case. Brachytherapy is often recommended due to its ability to effectively irradiate cancer cells while having the potential to reduce side effect risks.