A recent study published out of Italy, showed that in patients with low-risk prostate cancer the disease-free survival rate was the same for both surgery (complete removal of the prostate surgically) and brachytherapy (seed implant) after five years. 200 patients were randomly split into two groups, Group 1 receiving surgery and Group 2 receiving brachytherapy. At 6 months, brachytherapy patients did not experience any urinary incontinence, while 18.4% of the surgery group did. Also, brachytherapy patients had much stronger erectile function recovery at 6 months. Erectile function was also stronger at a year and at 5 years in patients who had brachytherapy over surgery.
This study showed the “cure” rate between surgery and brachytherapy to be the same; while the brachytherapy group had fewer issues with urinary incontinence early on and better sexual function overall.
Here at Chicago Prostate Cancer Center we have found similar results in our treatment of over 10,000 patients.
Gilberti C, Chiono L, Gallo F, Schenone M, Gastaldi E (2009) Radical retropubic prostatectomy versus brachytherapy for low-risk prostatic cancer: a prospective study. World J Urol27:607-612. doi 10.1007/s00345-009-0418-9