Background: We aimed to evaluate long-term erectile function following prostate brachytherapy, based on patient characteristics and treatment factors.
Methods: Between 2003 and 2006, 665 men with localized prostate cancer were treated with 125I permanent seed implantation. None was given adjuvant hormone therapy. Erectile function was assessed before treatment, and at 6 months, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 years after implantation using the Mount Sinai Erectile Function Score (MSEFS) of 0–3 (0 = no erections, 1 = erections insufficient for intercourse, 2 = suboptimal erections but sufficient for intercourse, 3 = normal erectile function). Potency was defined as score 2 or 3, and 382 men were potent before treatment. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed on the data from these 382 patients to identify variables associated with potency preservation.
Results: In patients who were potent before treatment, the actuarial potency preservation rate fell to 46.2 % at 6 months after brachytherapy, and then slowly recovered reaching 52.0 % at 5 years after brachytherapy. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, patient age (p = 0.04) and pre-treatment MSEFS (p < 0.001) were predictors of 5-year potency preservation. Neoadjuvant hormone therapy affected potency preservation only at 6 months after brachytherapy.
Conclusions: Patient age at implantation and pre-treatment erectile function are predictive factors for the development of erectile dysfunction following prostate brachytherapy.
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