Single dose high-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy (BT) as monotherapy for localised prostate cancer: Early results of a UK national cohort study.

HDR brachytherapy alone is effective for the treatment of localised prostate cancer when given in 2-4 or more fractions. Single dose treatment has been explored in small cohort studies to date. This paper reports a large patient population with localised prostate cancer treated with single dose HDR brachytherapy delivering 19 Gy providing early outcome data from this approach.

Seven centres across the UK collaborated in this national protocol to deliver 19 Gy to the PTV defined by the prostate capsule and a 3 mm expansion with clearly defined planning constraints for the urethra and rectum. Entry criteria allowed all risk groups provided PSA ≤40 µg/L and staging investigations were negative for metastases. The primary end point was biochemical relapse free survival (bRFS) defined using the Phoenix definition. Toxicity was measured using CTCAE v4.0.

A total of 441 patients were entered with median follow up 26 months (range 2-56). Median age was 73 (range 54-84) and 10% were low risk, 65% intermediate risk and 25% high risk. ADT was received by 37.6% overall and 90% of high risk patients for a median period of 6 months. Three year bRFS was overall 88%: this was 100% in low risk, 86% in intermediate risk and 75% in high risk. Only Gleason score was an independent predictor of bRFS. Relapse in 25 patients was assessed radiologically and occurred in the prostate in 15 of these, 11 of whom had localised prostate relapse only. Acute toxicity was low with no grade 3 or 4 events; there were two cases of late urinary stricture and two grade 3 late rectal events.

This is the largest cohort of single dose HDR brachytherapy patients treated with a single dose published to date. It shows that with 19 Gy there is 100% bRFS at 3 years in low risk patients but results in intermediate and high risk groups are less encouraging falling to 86% and 75% at 3 years with relapse predominantly in the prostate. Limited by the short follow up period of this study, the long-term outcomes of this single dose HDR approach remains uncertain. It is important to have close ongoing surveillance of this cohort as the data matures.

Radiotherapy and oncology : journal of the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology. 2020 Feb 07 [Epub ahead of print]

Hannah Tharmalingam, Yatman Tsang, Peter Ostler, James Wylie, Amit Bahl, Anna Lydon, Imtiaz Ahmed, Christine Elwell, Ashok R Nikapota, Peter J Hoskin, National UK HDR Prostate Brachytherapy Database

Mount Vernon Cancer Centre, Northwood, UK. Electronic address: ., Mount Vernon Cancer Centre, Northwood, UK., The Christie Hospital, Manchester, UK., Bristol Oncology Centre, Bristol, UK., Royal Devon and Exeter Hospitals, Exeter, UK., Southend University Hospital, Southend, UK., Northampton General Hospital, Northampton, UK., Sussex Cancer Centre, Brighton, UK., Mount Vernon Cancer Centre, Northwood, UK; University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.