Radiotherapy uses a radiation dose to treat prostate cancer. This can either be delivered from outside the body (external beam radiation therapy) or within the prostate (brachytherapy).

The Prostate Cancer Research Center contributed to the development of low-dose rate (LDR) and high-dose (HDR) brachytherapy. LDR treatment involves placing radio-active seeds in the prostate, whereas HDR involves temporarily placing tubes in the prostate through which a radio-active agent can be passed in.

What we’ve done so far

With the introduction of these new techniques several decades ago, the urologist was more in lead whilst nowadays the radiation oncologists utilizes these techniques more. We’ve published on the initial Australian experience with high-dose rate brachytherapy, and demonstrated it was safe, easy to learn and good initial results were obtained (Stevens et al., 2003). Comparable outcomes were found when HDR (non-randomized) compared to surgery (Savdie et al., 2012).

Ongoing Projects and Future Directions

We have no current ongoing projects in our radiotherapy line, although we are in close collaboration with our colleagues from the radiation oncology (Genesis) department. In particular on the MRI linac machine (more precise external beam radiation therapy), both in the primary treatment setting as well as adjuvant radiotherapy.

Our Publications on Imaging

Savdie, R., Symons, J., Spernat, D., Yuen, C., Pe Benito, R. A., Haynes, A.-M., … Stricker, P. D. (2012). High-dose rate brachytherapy compared with open radical prostatectomy for the  treatment of high-risk prostate cancer: 10 year biochemical freedom from relapse. BJU International , 110 Suppl , 71–76.

Stevens, M. J., Stricker, P. D., Saalfeld, J., Brenner, P. C., Kooner, R., O'Neill, G. F. A., … Martland, J. (2003). Treatment of localized prostate cancer using a combination of high dose rate  Iridium-192 brachytherapy and external beam irradiation: initial Australian experience. Australasian Radiology , 47 (2), 152–160.