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Low Late Toxicity With Radiation Post Prostatectomy

Study finds approximately 1 percent of men have grade three and four complications

THURSDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Men with prostate cancer who receive salvage external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) after radical prostatectomy have a low risk of severe late toxicity, according to a study published online Sept. 22 in Radiotherapy & Oncology.

Jennifer L. Peterson, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., and colleagues analyzed late toxicity in 308 men with prostate cancer who underwent salvage EBRT from July 1987 through June 2003 for detectable prostate-specific antigen levels after radical prostatectomy. Salvage EBRT included the use of high-energy photons at a median dose of 64.8 Gy in 1.8- to 2.0-Gy fractions.

During a median follow-up of 60 months from the start of salvage EBRT, the researchers identified late toxicity in 13 percent of patients more than 90 days post radiotherapy. The results showed 3.9 percent of patients experienced grade two urethral strictures, and approximately 1 percent of patients experienced grade three and four complications, in line with the findings of previous reports.

"Salvage EBRT for a detectable prostate-specific antigen level after radical prostatectomy is the only potentially curative treatment option currently available," the authors conclude. "Our experience is similar to other reports and demonstrates that salvage prostatic fossa EBRT is associated with a low risk of severe late complications."

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