Seed implants may be a suitable prostate cancer treatment option for men of all ages, as a new study conducted by scientists at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and North Shore-LIJ
System suggests that age does not make any difference in the long-term therapeutic outcome.
Dr. Louis Potters, chairman of radiation medicine at North Shore University Hospital and LIJ Medical Center, said that he and his colleagues identified 2,119 consecutive prostate cancer patients treated between 1992 and 2005, and narrowed their selection to men under 60 years old.
He said that their treatment regimens consisted of permanent prostate brachytherapy with or without hormone therapy, permanent prostate brachytherapy with external beam radiation, or a combination of those therapies.
He revealed that the 237 patients had been followed for an average of 56 months after treatment.
The researcher said that the study was aimed at determining whether there was a difference in the rate of progression among the treatments, and whether it had anything to do with the age of the patient or disease-related risk factors.
Writing about the findings of the study in The Journal of Urology, Dr. Potters said that age did not seem to factor into the treatment equation.
"There is a whole politic to prostate cancer treatments. But the bottom line is that brachytherapy (seed implants) is an appropriate option for men at any age," he said.
According to him, the advantage to brachytherapy is that the risk for incontinence is small, and impotence is not nearly as common as it is following prostate surgery.
Scientists at The Feinstein Institute are now studying the effect of the radiation dose on long-term outcome.