Prostate cancer: new recommendations on the use of brachytherapy

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The American Society of Clinical Oncology and Cancer Care Ontario have issued a joint clinical practice guideline update.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and Cancer Care Ontario have issued a joint clinical practice guideline update on the use of brachytherapy in patients with prostate cancer. The update provides evidence-based recommendations for different patient risk groups, and specifies the most effective forms of brachytherapy for each.

“This guideline provides very clear direction about what is now the non-surgical standard of care for the majority of patients with prostate cancer – brachytherapy either by itself or as part of a combination approach,” said Andrew Loblaw, co-chair of the expert panel that developed the guideline update. “Brachytherapy is also more convenient than external beam radiation and has a much higher chance of curing the disease. However, not every patient should have brachytherapy and not all treatment centres are experienced in delivering high-quality brachytherapy.”

The recommendations pertain to men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer who require or choose active treatment and are not considering, or are not suitable, for active surveillance. Patients may be ineligible for brachytherapy if they have moderate to severe urinary symptoms, an enlarged prostate, have had prior prostate surgery, and contraindications to radiation treatment, or are in poor physical health.

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