Current results of the two-year SPIRIT-Study prove clear advantages of the brachytherapy
Higher quality of life, rarely occurring incontinence and improved erectile function. The latest results from the SPIRIT study demonstrated clear advantages of brachytherapy over radical prostatectomy in patients with localized prostate cancer. Even in terms of patient satisfaction brachytherapy is far superior to an operation.
In patients with prostate carcinoma, brachytherapy, external irradiation, and surgery lead equal recovery rates, provided the tumor is detected at an early stage. This has already been clearly demonstrated in numerous studies1. In contrast, data on the quality of life in successfully treated patients are very rare. "We have to consider when choosing the appropriate therapy that it is not only about recovery rates, but also about the impact of the treatment on the quality of life" says Dr. Pedram Derakhshani, urologist at the West German Prostate Center.
Recently, in a large-scale study2, brachytherapy and surgical removal of the prostate were compared in terms of their health-related quality of life using standardized questionnaires. The survey asked for the functions of the urinary bladder (voiding) and continence, erectile function, abnormal bowel function, effects of hormonal treatment, and the patient’s satisfaction. No differences between the two forms of therapy, however, resulted in intestine-and hormone-specific questions.