Dr. D’Amico compares EBRT and brachytherapy in prostate cancer


Anthony V. D’Amico, MD, PhD, discusses the choice between external beam radiation therapy and brachytherapy in patients with prostate cancer.

In this video, Anthony V. D’Amico, MD, PhD, a professor and chair of genitourinary radiation oncology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, explains the factors involved in choosing between external beam radiation therapy and brachytherapy, a type of internal radiation therapy in patients with prostate cancer.


Essentially, these treatments are felt to be equivalent. And so we don't have a strong preference as to one or the other, it's really a matter of patient choice. Brachytherapy has more lower urinary tract symptoms in the short term compared to external beam, but it's done more quickly, in a single visit or two, and as a result, it may be more convenient with the short-term cost of more lower urinary tract symptoms. Not everybody is eligible for brachytherapy; they have to have a prostate below a certain size, typically 60 cubic centimeters, and they can't have significant lower urinary tract symptoms to begin with, as well. More commonly, brachytherapy is used as a boost after external beam in people with unfavorable intermediate- or high-risk disease, because it’s been shown to have a halving of progression or a reduction in relapse with this combined approach, as opposed to external beam radiation therapy alone.

Transcript has been edited for clarity.

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