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Can high-dose-rate brachytherapy prevent the major genitourinary complication better than external beam radiation alone for patients with previous transurethral resection of prostate?

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To compare the grade 3 genitourinary toxicity and oncological outcome for localized prostate cancer between high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy and external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) alone in patients with previously undergone Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP).

Materials and methods

From November 1998 to November 2008, 78 patients with a history of TURP underwent radiation therapy for localized prostate cancer. Of these, 59 were enrolled in this study. In this study, 34 patients underwent HDR brachytherapy and 25 patients underwent EBRT alone.


Grade 3 genitourinary complication was observed in 8.8 % of HDR brachytherapy group and 44 % in EBRT alone group. Five-year urinary incontinence rate was 2.9 % in HDR brachytherapy and 24 % in EBRT alone group. The results showed that significant higher incidence of grade 3 genitourinary complication (p = 0.003) and urinary incontinence was the most significant (p = 0.023) in the EBRT alone group. Five-year biochemical survival rate was 82.4 % in HDR brachytherapy group and 72.0 % in EBRT alone group (p = 0.396).


In patients with prostate cancer who have previously undergone TURP, we observed that HDR brachytherapy was able to control prostate cancer with fewer GU morbidities and oncological outcomes that were similar to those associated with traditional EBRT alone. Moreover, HDR brachytherapy led to a decrease in major GU toxicity and also preserved the sphincter function more than that in TURP patients who underwent EBRT alone.

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Conflict of interest

Authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Author information

Correspondence to Po Hui Chiang.

Additional information

Hao Lun Luo and Fu Min Fang contributed equally to this study.

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Luo, H.L., Fang, F.M., Kang, C.H. et al. Can high-dose-rate brachytherapy prevent the major genitourinary complication better than external beam radiation alone for patients with previous transurethral resection of prostate?. Int Urol Nephrol 45, 113–119 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11255-012-0277-y

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  • HDR brachytherapy
  • External beam radiation therapy
  • Transurethral resection of the prostate
  • Genitourinary toxicity