Posttreatment biopsy results following interstitial brachytherapy in early-stage prostate cancer

B R Prestidge, D C Hoak, P D Grimm, H Ragde, W Cavanagh, J C Blasko
International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 1997 January 1, 37 (1): 31-9

PURPOSE: To assess pathologic control rates for prostatic carcinoma as determined by postimplant prostate biopsy in a large series of consecutive patients who have received permanent interstitial brachytherapy using a contemporary transrectal ultrasound-directed, transperineal, computer generated, volume technique.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: Four hundred and two patients received permanent 125I or 103Pd interstitial brachytherapy as primary treatment for early stage prostatic carcinoma at the Northwest Tumor Institute between January 1988 and January 1994. Of these, 201 have consented to biopsy 12 or more months postimplant with a median follow-up of 40 months (range: 12-83 months). None had received hormonal manipulation. A total of 361 biopsies was performed on 201 patients with a range of one to six annual biopsies per patient (91 received multiple, serial biopsies). Of the 161 patients more than 12 months postimplant who have not been biopsied, most have been unwilling or unable to submit to biopsy. Only six patients with biochemical progression have not been biopsied. There was no difference in the presenting characteristics or implant parameters between those patients biopsied and those that were not. One hundred and forty-three received 125I (71%) prescribed to a MPD of 160 Gy with a median activity of 35.5 mCi, and 58 (29%) received 103Pd prescribed to a MPD of 115 Gy with a median activity of 123 mCi. Multiple biopsies were performed under transrectal ultrasound guidance, and all specimens were classified as either negative, indeterminate, or positive.

RESULTS: At the time of last biopsy, 161 (80%) have achieved negative pathology, 34 (17%) remain indeterminate, and 6 (3%) have been positive. Only 2 of the 186 patients with a PSA < 4.0 ng/ml at the time of biopsy were positive. Among those 33 indeterminate patients with a subsequent biopsy, 28 have converted to negative, 2 to positive, and 3 remain unchanged to date.

CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrate at least an 80% pathologically confirmed local control rate following permanent interstitial brachytherapy for early stage prostate cancer. A higher local control rate is expected with further follow-up as the majority of indeterminate biopsies convert to negative over time. The indeterminate category of postirradiation biopsy described here includes specimens that have probably been interpreted as positive in other series, but correlate clinically and biochemically with negative biopsies. These results support the use of modern interstitial brachytherapy techniques for selected patients with early stage adenocarcinoma of the prostate.

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