Acute urinary toxicity following transperineal prostate brachytherapy using a modified Quimby loading method

Song K. Kang, Rachel H. Chou, Richard K. Dodge, Robert W. Clough, Hi Sung L. Kang, M. Gray Bowen, Beverly A. Steffey, Shiva K. Das, Su Min Zhou, Arthur W. Whitehurst, Niall J. Buckley, Jay H. Kim, Raymond E. Joyner, Ignacio Sarmina, Gustavo S. Montana, Sally S. Ingram, Mitchell S. Anscher

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44 Scopus citations


Purpose: To examine the acute urinary toxicity following transperineal prostate implant using a modified Quimby loading method with regard to time course, severity, and factors that may be associated with a higher incidence of morbidity. Methods and Materials: One hundred thirty-nine patients with prostate adenocarcinoma treated with brachytherapy from 1997 through 1999 had follow-up records available for review. Patients considered for definitive brachytherapy alone included those with prostate specific antigen (PSA) ≤ 6, Gleason score (GS) ≤ 6, clinical stage < T2b, and prostate volumes generally less than 40 cc. Patients with larger prostate volumes were given neoadjuvant antiandrogen therapy. Those with GS > 6, PSA > 6, or Stage > T2a were treated with external beam radiation therapy followed by brachytherapy boost. Sources were loaded according to a modified Quimby method. At each follow-up, toxicity was graded based on a modified RTOG urinary toxicity scale. Results: Acute urinary toxicity occurred in 88%. Grade I toxicity was reported in 23%, grade II in 45%, and grade III in 20%, with 14% requiring prolonged (greater than 1 week) intermittent or indwelling catheterization. Overall median duration of symptoms was 12 months. There was no difference in duration of symptoms between patients treated with I-125 or Pd-103 sources (p = 0.71). After adjusting for GS and PSA, multivariate logistic regression analysis showed higher incidence of grade 3 toxicity in patients with larger prostate volumes (p = 0.002), and those with more seeds implanted (p < 0.001). Higher incidence of prolonged catheterization was found in patients receiving brachytherapy alone (p = 0.01), with larger prostate volumes (p = 0.01), and those with more seeds implanted (p < 0.001). Conclusion: Interstitial brachytherapy for prostate cancer leads to a high incidence of acute urinary toxicity, most of which is mild to moderate in severity. A prolonged need for catheterization can occur in some patients. Patients receiving brachytherapy alone, those with prostate volumes greater than 30 cc, and those implanted with a greater number of seeds have the highest incidence of significant toxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)937-945
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 15 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Brachytherapy
  • Complications
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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