Focal brachytherapy for prostate cancer

What is focal brachytherapy for prostate cancer?

Brachytherapy has been a standard treatment for prostate cancer for many years. Brachytherapy is a special form of internal radiation therapy where a radioactive source is placed in the prostate gland to deliver radiation to small areas over a period of time.

Focal brachytherapy is using the same technique, however is a highly targeted technique as it places the radioactive source into only the tumour itself instead of the whole prostate, preserving the rest of the prostate gland.

Focal brachytherapy is currently being offered at Icon Cancer Centre Richmond and Freemasons.

Standard treatments using surgery or radiation therapy can cause side effects which can heavily impact a man’s quality of life e.g. erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence, bowel urgency. This new treatment means side effects that are commonly seen in treating the whole prostate are kept to a minimum, preserving patients’ quality of life.

Focal therapy follows the same principle as what has become standard of care in breast cancer. In the past, all breast cancers were treated by radical mastectomy (removal of the entire breast). Now it is standard for small breast tumours to be removed by lumpectomy only, preserving all remaining normal breast tissue.

Focal brachytherapy is a truly multidisciplinary treatment utilising a highly experienced urologic surgeon, radiation oncologist, radiologist and pathologist.

Which patients are suited to focal brachytherapy?

Focal brachytherapy is suited to men with more than 10 years life expectancy who have a single tumour of low-intermediate grade prostate cancer. There are additional clinical indicators which determine suitability.

Please speak with your urologist to discuss if this therapy is suitable for you.

LIBERATE clinical registry

For appropriate selection of patients and quality assurance, the LIBERATE clinical registry has been developed, which monitors men who have undergone focal brachytherapy for prostate cancer. The registry is Icon Cancer Centre-initiated, operating out of Icon’s Epworth Healthcare sites.

LIBERATE aims to provide proof of concept that focal brachytherapy minimises side effects that are commonly seen in treating the whole prostate for men with low-intermediate grade prostate cancer.

LIBERATE is the only clinical registry monitoring patients who have undergone focal brachytherapy in Australia.

Focal Brachytherapy for prostate cancer – is it right for me?

Icon Cancer Centre Radiation Oncologist Dr Andrew See and Epworth Healthcare Urologic Surgeon A/Prof Jeremy Grummet recently educated prostate cancer patients on focal brachytherapy – a new treatment option which uses MRI to identify prostate cancer, and targeted radiotherapy to treat only the tumour, instead of the whole prostate, to keep side effects to a bare minimum.

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