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Postradiation Therapy Pathology of Prostate Cancer

Overview

The early published literature on post–radiation therapy pathology in patients with prostate cancer was based on treatment with external beam radiation. However, brachytherapy techniques produce the same pathologic changes.

Radiotherapy

About one quarter of men with prostate cancer choose radiotherapy.
Prostate radiotherapy can be delivered by brachytherapy or external beam therapy. In external beam therapy, a beam delivers radiation to the whole pelvis, with a boost to the prostate.

In brachytherapy, interstitial radiation is delivered by implanted seeds containing a radioisotope (iodine-131 (131 I), iridium-192 [192 Ir], or gold-198 [198 Au]).

Serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and a rectal examination may suggest whether or not radiotherapy has eradicated the entire prostate tumor.

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