Combined-modality 125J-seed-brachytherapy, external beam radiation and androgen deprivation therapy of unfavorable-risk prostate cancer: report of outcomes and side-effects



To analyze outcomes and complication rates in an unselected cohort of men with unfavorable (NCCN intermediate and high-risk) PCa receiving combined-modality radiation treatment (CRT).


Patients received androgen deprivation therapy for 1 year and combined-modality radiation treatment (CRT) consisting of external-beam radiotherapy (EBRT, 59.4 Gy, 33 fractions) and 125J seed-brachytherapy (S-BT, 100 Gy). Subgroups, including WHO group 3–5, and initial PSA (iPSA) < 20 and > 20 ng/ml were identified. Biochemical recurrence-free (BRFS), metastasis-free (MFS), cancer-specific (CSS) and overall survival (OS) were calculated at 5 and 10 years using the Kaplan–Meier method. Subgroups were compared using log-rank test and Cox proportional hazards regression. Urogenital and gastrointestinal side-effects were reported according to the CTCAE classification.


After a median of 6.9 years (range 2–13) calculated 5- and 10-year rates for the whole cohort of 425 men were 92.8% and 82.5% for BRFS, 95.1%, and 88.8% for MFS, 98.2%, and 95.1 for CSS, and 95.4%, and 80.1% for OS, respectively. Univariate (UVA) and multivariate analysis (MV) identified a group with unfavorable outcome with iPSA > 20 ng/ml, comprising 24% of all patients, in which 55% of recurrences, 54% of metastases and 71% of cancer-specific deaths occurred. Side-effects were limited, with < 5% of patients complaining of genitourinary and 0.5% of gastrointestinal AEs after 5 years.


CRT is an excellent treatment option for men with unfavorable PCa. In a subgroup of patients with iPSA > 20 ng/ml further, possibly systemic, treatment options should be identified.

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The excellent technical support of Ralph Luers, Bjarne Riis and Patrick Voss is gratefully acknowledged.

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AB: protocol development, data analysis, manuscript writing and editing. KK: data collection, data analysis, manuscript editing. IRK: data analysis, manuscript editing. IR-N: manuscript editing. PR: manuscript editing. BB: protocol development, manuscript editing.

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Correspondence to A. Boehle.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. For this type of study formal consent was not required.

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Boehle, A., Katic, K., König, I.R. et al. Combined-modality 125J-seed-brachytherapy, external beam radiation and androgen deprivation therapy of unfavorable-risk prostate cancer: report of outcomes and side-effects. World J Urol 37, 2355–2363 (2019).

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  • High-risk prostate cancer
  • Radiotherapy
  • Seed-brachytherapy
  • LDR-brachytherapy
  • Outcome research
  • Side-effects