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      Prostate brachytherapy in Ghana: our initial experience

      , MBChB, FWACS , 1 , , MBChB, FC Rad Onc 2 , , MBChB, FWACS 2 , , MBChB, FWACS 3 , , BSc. MSc 2 , , BSc. MSc 2

      Journal of Contemporary Brachytherapy

      Termedia Publishing House

      brachytherapy, Ghana, LDR, proctoring, prostate cancer, seeds

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          This study presents the experience of a brachytherapy team in Ghana with a focus on technology transfer and outcome. The team was initially proctored by experienced physicians from Europe and South Africa.

          Material and methods

          A total of 90 consecutive patients underwent either brachytherapy alone or brachytherapy in combination with external beam radiotherapy for prostate carcinoma between July 2008 and February 2014 at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana. Patients were classified as low-risk, intermediate, and high-risk according to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) criteria. All low-risk and some intermediate risk group patients were treated with seed implantation alone. Some intermediate and all high-risk group patients received brachytherapy combined with external beam radiotherapy.


          The median patient age was 64.0 years (range 46-78 years). The median follow-up was 58 months (range 18-74 months). Twelve patients experienced biochemical failure including one patient who had evidence of metastatic disease and died of prostate cancer. Freedom from biochemical failure rates for low, intermediate, and high-risk cases were 95.4%, 90.9%, and 70.8%, respectively. Clinical parameters predictive of biochemical outcome included: clinical stage, Gleason score, and risk group. Pre-treatment prostate specific antigen (PSA) was not a statistically significant predictor of biochemical failure. Sixty-nine patients (76.6%) experienced grade 1 urinary symptoms in the form of frequency, urgency, and poor stream. These symptoms were mostly self-limiting. Four patients needed catheterization for urinary retention (grade 2). One patient developed a recto urethral fistula (grade 3) following banding for hemorrhoids.


          Our results compare favorably with those reported by other institutions with more extensive experience. We believe therefore that, interstitial permanent brachytherapy can be safely and effectively performed in a resource challenged environment if adequate training and proctoring is provided.

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          Most cited references 38

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          Defining biochemical failure following radiotherapy with or without hormonal therapy in men with clinically localized prostate cancer: recommendations of the RTOG-ASTRO Phoenix Consensus Conference.

          In 1996 the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) sponsored a Consensus Conference to establish a definition of biochemical failure after external beam radiotherapy (EBRT). The ASTRO definition defined prostate specific antigen (PSA) failure as occurring after three consecutive PSA rises after a nadir with the date of failure as the point halfway between the nadir date and the first rise or any rise great enough to provoke initiation of therapy. This definition was not linked to clinical progression or survival; it performed poorly in patients undergoing hormonal therapy (HT), and backdating biased the Kaplan-Meier estimates of event-free survival. A second Consensus Conference was sponsored by ASTRO and the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group in Phoenix, Arizona, on January 21, 2005, to revise the ASTRO definition. The panel recommended: (1) a rise by 2 ng/mL or more above the nadir PSA be considered the standard definition for biochemical failure after EBRT with or without HT; (2) the date of failure be determined "at call" (not backdated). They recommended that investigators be allowed to use the ASTRO Consensus Definition after EBRT alone (no hormonal therapy) with strict adherence to guidelines as to "adequate follow-up." To avoid the artifacts resulting from short follow-up, the reported date of control should be listed as 2 years short of the median follow-up. For example, if the median follow-up is 5 years, control rates at 3 years should be cited. Retaining a strict version of the ASTRO definition would allow comparisons with a large existing body of literature.
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            EAU guidelines on prostate cancer. Part 1: screening, diagnosis, and treatment of clinically localised disease.

            Our aim was to present a summary of the 2010 version of the European Association of Urology (EAU) guidelines on the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of clinically localised cancer of the prostate (PCa). The working panel performed a literature review of the new data emerging from 2007 to 2010. The guidelines were updated, and level of evidence and grade of recommendation were added to the text based on a systematic review of the literature, which included a search of online databases and bibliographic reviews. A full version is available at the EAU office or Web site ( Current evidence is insufficient to warrant widespread population-based screening by prostate-specific antigen (PSA) for PCa. A systematic prostate biopsy under ultrasound guidance and local anaesthesia is the preferred diagnostic method. Active surveillance represents a viable option in men with low-risk PCa and a long life expectancy. PSA doubling time in <3 yr or a biopsy progression indicates the need for active intervention. In men with locally advanced PCa in whom local therapy is not mandatory, watchful waiting (WW) is a treatment alternative to androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) with equivalent oncologic efficacy. Active treatment is mostly recommended for patients with localised disease and a long life expectancy with radical prostatectomy (RP) shown to be superior to WW in a prospective randomised trial. Nerve-sparing RP represents the approach of choice in organ-confined disease; neoadjuvant androgen deprivation demonstrates no improvement of outcome variables. Radiation therapy should be performed with at least 74 Gy and 78 Gy in low-risk and intermediate/high-risk PCa, respectively. For locally advanced disease, adjuvant ADT for 3 yr results in superior disease-specific and overall survival rates and represents the treatment of choice. Follow-up after local therapy is largely based on PSA, and a disease-specific history with imaging is indicated only when symptoms occur. The knowledge in the field of PCa is rapidly changing. These EAU guidelines on PCa summarise the most recent findings and put them into clinical practice. Copyright © 2010 European Association of Urology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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              AJCC Cancer Staging Manual


                Author and article information

                J Contemp Brachytherapy
                J Contemp Brachytherapy
                Journal of Contemporary Brachytherapy
                Termedia Publishing House
                11 October 2016
                October 2016
                : 8
                : 5
                : 379-385
                [1 ]Department of Surgery, School of Medicine and Dentistry, College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana Medical School
                [2 ]National Center for Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medicine, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital
                [3 ]Department of Surgery, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana
                Author notes
                Address for correspondence: James Edward Mensah, Department of Surgery, School of Medicine and Dentistry, College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana Medical School, P O Box 4236, Accra, Ghana. phone: +233 208179911. e-mail: jemensah@
                Copyright: © 2016 Termedia Sp. z o. o.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) License, allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and to remix, transform, and build upon the material, provided the original work is properly cited and states its license.

                Original Paper

                Oncology & Radiotherapy

                seeds, brachytherapy, prostate cancer, proctoring, ldr, ghana


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