Comparing radical prostatectomy and brachytherapy for localized prostate cancer.
Radical prostatectomy and ultrasound-guided transperineal brachytherapy are both commonly used for the treatment of localized prostate cancer. No randomized trials are available to compare these modalities. Therefore, the physician must rely on institutional reports of results to determine which therapy is most effective. While some investigators have concluded that both therapies are effective, others have concluded that radical prostatectomy should remain the gold standard for the treatment of this disease. This article reviews the major series available for both treatments and discusses the major controversies involved in making these comparisons. The data indicate that for low-risk disease, both treatments are effective, controlling disease in over 80% of the cases, with no evidence to support the use of one treatment over the other. Similarly, for intermediate-risk disease, the conclusion that one treatment is superior to the other cannot be drawn. Brachytherapy should be performed in conjunction with external-beam radiation therapy in this group of patients. For patients with high-risk disease, neither treatment consistently achieves biochemical control rates above 50%. Although radical prostatectomy and/or brachytherapy may play a role in the care of high-risk patients in the future, external-beam radiation therapy in combination with androgen deprivation has the best track record to date.
Quaranta, BP; Marks, LB; Anscher, MS
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