Trial of radioactive implants offers improved prostate cancer survival


A prostate cancer treatment using permanently implanted radioactive “seeds” doubles rates of five-year tumour-free survival compared with conventional high-dose radiotherapy, a study has found.

Low-dose-rate prostate brachytherapy (LDR-PB) involves the insertion of tiny radioactive implants into the prostate gland.

A trial comparing the treatment with dose-escalated external beam radiotherapy found that it was much more successful at banishing cancer.

Men who underwent LDR-PB were twice as likely to be cancer-free five years later.

Scientists studied 398 men with cancer that had not spread outside the prostate gland who were judged to be at high risk of treatment failure based on standard test results.

Lead researcher Professor James Morris, from Vancouver Cancer Centre in Canada, said: “At five years follow-up, we saw a large advantage in progression-free survival in the LDR-PB group.


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