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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

LDR vs. HDR brachytherapy for localized prostate cancer: the view from radiobiological models.

PURPOSE: Permanent LDR brachytherapy and temporary HDR brachytherapy are competitive techniques for clinically localized prostate radiotherapy. Although a randomized trial will likely never be conducted comparing these two forms of brachytherapy, a comparative radiobiological modeling analysis proves useful in understanding some of their intrinsic differences, several of which could be exploited to improve outcomes. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Radiobiological models based upon the linear quadratic equations are presented for fractionated external beam, fractionated (192)Ir HDR brachytherapy, and (125)I and (103)Pd LDR brachytherapy. These models incorporate the dose heterogeneities present in brachytherapy based upon patient-derived dose volume histograms (DVH) as well as tumor doubling times and repair kinetics. Radiobiological parameters are normalized to correspond to three accepted clinical risk factors based upon T-stage, PSA, and Gleason score to compare models with clinical series. Tumor control probabilities (TCP) for LDR and HDR brachytherapy (as monotherapy or combined with external beam) are compared with clinical bNED survival rates. Predictions are made for dose escalation with HDR brachytherapy regimens. RESULTS: Model predictions for dose escalation with external beam agree with clinical data and validate the models and their underlying assumptions. Both LDR and HDR brachytherapy achieve superior tumor control when compared with external beam at conventional doses (<70 Gy), but similar to results from dose escalation series. LDR brachytherapy as boost achieves superior tumor control than when used as monotherapy. Stage for stage, both LDR and current HDR regimens achieve similar tumor control rates, in agreement with current clinical data. HDR monotherapy with large-dose fraction sizes might achieve superior tumor control compared with LDR, especially if prostate cancer possesses a high sensitivity to dose fractionation (i.e., if the alpha/beta ratio is low). CONCLUSIONS: Radiobiological models support the current clinical evidence for equivalent outcomes in localized prostate cancer with either LDR or HDR brachytherapy using current dose regimens. However, HDR brachytherapy dose escalation regimens might be able to achieve higher biologically effective doses of irradiation in comparison to LDR, and hence improved outcomes. This advantage over LDR would be amplified should prostate cancer possess a high sensitivity to dose fractionation (i.e., a low alpha/beta ratio) as the current evidence suggests.[1]


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