Prostate Cancer Treated with Seed Implants (Brachytherapy) shows Paradoxical Utilization

Posted on June 8, 2015 in Prostate Cancer

Written by Dr. Butler

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Prostate Cancer Treated with Seed Implants (Brachytherapy) shows Paradoxical Utilization per Presentation at the American Brachytherapy Society Spring Meeting 2015

seed implants: Brachytherapy for prostate cancer

Dr. Steven Frank gave a talk on the use of brachytherapy or seed implantation for prostate cancer as a “model for value in the changing healthcare environment.” He reported the data on Standard outcomes; Control of Cancer based on PSA, maintenance of sexual function, maintenance of normal urinary and bowel function, and finally cost (to patient and hospital/ cancer health insurance providers). He concluded Prostate seed implant or Brachytherapy scored the best on all 4 measures compared with other standard options including surgical options, IMRT radiation therapy and Proton therapy.

Dr. Brad Prestige continued the discussion and noted paradoxical reduction in utilization of the prostate seed implant despite the published good results and 30% reduced cost over the other options. The falling utilization is possibly related to greater active surveillance, more self referral, greater use of robotic surgery and proton therapy, and improvements in external beam treatment and negative publicity from the veterans administration incident with prostate seed implant. With the anticipated arrival of Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) and more focus on prostate seed implantation for the treatment of prostate cancer, seed implantation may have a rapid resurgence. One concern of the American Brachytherapy Society is the availability of trained radiation oncologists who still perform this valuable procedure.

SERO physicians have performed prostate seed implants since the mid-90s working with our urologic peers. SERO continues to manage a robust prostate seed implant program at most of the centers and has over 10 physicians trained in this technique. Since the inception of the prostate seed implant program at SERO, thousands of patients have enjoyed the good results discussed above at a lower cost of care. All prostate cancer patients deserve a Multidisciplinary Approach as recommended by the American Urologic Society and Commission on Cancer which should include a direct evaluation by a radiation oncologist who is skilled in this procedure. Learn when to get a prostate exam and for a complete guide on Prostate Cancer, download our eBook.