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effective measures to counter a deadly disease
PGMs' role in the fight against cancer is twofold: as the active ingredient in chemotherapy drugs and in radio-active implants for radiation therapy (brachytherapy).
In the first of these, platinum compounds cisplatinum and carboplatinum have the unique quality of inhibiting the splitting and growth of cancerous cells. These compounds have been particularly successful in the treatment of testicular and ovarian cancers. More recently, palladium compounds have also been successfully tested.
In brachytherapy, implants are made of platinum with the active ingredient of iridium isotopes. These are placed directly into tumours, giving a high radiation dose to the tumour while reducing the effect on surrounding healthy tissue.
Urology. 2004 Sep;64(3):556-60. Related Articles, Links
High-dose-rate iridium-192 afterloading therapy combined with external beam radiotherapy for T1c-T3bN0M0 prostate cancer.
Jo Y, Hiratsuka J, Fujii T, Takenaka A, Fujisawa M.
Department ofUrology, Kawasaki Medical School, Kurashiki-city, Okayama, Japan.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the efficacy of radiotherapy (RT) for T1c-T3bN0M0 prostate cancer in a prospective clinical trial of concurrent external beam RT and fractionated iridium-192 high-dose-rate brachytherapy. METHODS: Included in the study were 98 patients with T1c-T3bN0M0 prostate cancer who were diagnosed between October 1997 and September 2002 and underwent high-dose-rate brachytherapy with external beam RT. Treatment consisted of external beam RT (four ports) to the prostate of 16 fractions of 2.3 Gy to a total dose of 36.8 Gy and high-dose-rate brachytherapy of 4 fractions of 6.0 Gy within 30 hours to a total dose of 24.0 Gy. No patient received adjuvant hormonal therapy after RT. RESULTS: The most recent prostate-specific antigen level was 0.0 to 3.9 ng/mL (median 0.4). Seven patients (7.1%) developed recurrence and treatment was considered a failure (bone metastasis in two and biochemical failure in five). The overall biochemical disease-free survival (bDFS) rate was 95.9% at 2 years and 92.9% at 5 years. The bDFS rate by T stage was 98.6% at 2 years and 95.9% at 5 years for Stage T1c-T2b and 88.0% and 84.0% for Stage T3a-b, respectively (P = 0.047). The 2-year and 5-year bDFS rate was better in patients with an initial prostate-specific antigen level of less than 20 ng/mL compared with 20 ng/mL or greater (98.6% and 97.1% versus 93.1% and 82.8%, respectively, P = 0.0261). Acute toxicity was mild to moderate (Radiation Therapy Oncology Group grade 1-2) and consisted of cystourethritis or proctitis in 29 (29.6%) of 98 patients. CONCLUSIONS: With a low complication rate and satisfactory bDFS rates, this combination therapy can be considered an alternative method for clinical Stage T1c-T3b prostate cancer and is expected to improve patient quality of life. Additional long-term follow-up is needed to confirm this treatment.
Arch Androl. 2004 Jul-Aug;50(4):295-301. Related Articles, Links
Erectile function after brachytherapy with external beam radiation for prostate cancer.
Fujioka H, Ishimura T, Sakai Y, Fujii T, Jo Y, Takenaka A, Fujisawa M.
Department of Urology Kawasaki Medical School, Kurashiki, Japan.
The effect of therapeutic modalities on sexual potency is an important consideration for patients choosing a treatment for prostate cancer. We assessed erectile function after iridium-192 (1r-192) high-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy with external beam radiation therapy (EBRT), and examined the efficacy of sildenafil after this treatment. Forty-two prostate cancer patients (T1c to T3bN0M0) were treated with 22Gy HDR brachytherapy with 36.8Gy EBRT without neoadjuvant hormone therapy. Erectile function was assessed using a 5-item version of the International Index of Erectile Function questionnaire (IIEF-5), pre, 3 and 12 months after treatment, Potency was defined as an IIEF-5 score > or = 11. Ten patients with potency before HDR brachytherapy with EBRT with or without neoadjuvant hormone therapy requested Sildenafil 3 months after treatment. The mean IIEF-5 score of all patients was 10.5 +/- 8.5, 4.5 +/- 5.3 (p < 0.001), and 3.8 +/- 4.7 (p < 0.001), pre, 3 and 12 months after treatment, respectively. Seventeen (40.4%) patients were potent before treatment. The mean IIEF-5 score of those patients was 15.8 +/- 3.2, 9.6 +/- 5.1 (p = 0.04), and 11.3 +/- 6.1 (p = 0.06), pre, 3 and 12 months after treatment, respectively. Ten of 17 (58.8%) patients maintained their potency 12 months after treatment. In 10 patients with potency before treatment who were treated with sildenafil, the mean IIEF-5 score increased from 6.2 +/- 3.5 at 3 months to 13.6 +/- 5.1 (p < 0.001) at 12 months after treatment. Eight of 10 (80%) patients treated with sildenafil had recovered 12 months after treatment. HDR brachytherapy with EBRT can be performed with favorable results for maintaining potency.