American Brachytherapy Society recommendations for reporting morbidity after prostate brachytherapy

Subir Nag, Rodney J. Ellis, Gregory S. Merrick, Robert Bahnson, Kent Wallner, Richard Stock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Purpose: To standardize the reporting of brachytherapy-related prostate morbidity to guide ongoing clinical practice and future investigations. Methods: Members of the American Brachytherapy Society (ABS) with expertise in prostate brachytherapy performed a literature review and, guided by their clinical experience, formulated specific recommendations for reporting on morbidity related to prostate brachytherapy. Results: The ABS recommends using validated, patient-administered health-related quality-of-life instruments for the determination of baseline and follow-up data regarding bowel, urinary, and sexual function. Both actuarial and crude incidences should be reported, along with the temporal resolution of specific complications, and correlated with the doses to the normal tissues. The International Prostate Symptom Score is recommended to assess urinary morbidity, and any dysuria, gross hematuria, urinary retention, incontinence, or medication use should be quantified. Likewise, the "Sexual Health Inventory for Men," which includes the specific erectile questions of the International Index of Erectile Function, is the preferred instrument for reporting sexual function, and the loss of sexual desire, incidence of hematospermia, painful orgasm (orgasmalgia), altered orgasm intensity, decreased ejaculatory volume, use of erectile aids, and use of hormones for androgen deprivation should be quantified. The ABS recommends adoption of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group/European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer acute and late radiation morbidity scoring scheme for reporting rectal morbidity and noting the incidence of rectal steroid, laser, or antidiarrheal use. Conclusion: It is important to focus on health-related quality-of-life issues in the treatment of prostate cancer, because the control rates are very similar between appropriate treatment modalities. The ABS recommends using the International Prostate Symptom Score, International Index of Erectile Function, and Radiation Therapy Oncology Group toxicity grading criteria for the determination of urinary, sexual, and bowel function, respectively. Additional parameters for reporting urinary, rectal, and sexual morbidities are presented. These morbidities should be correlated with the doses to the normal tissues. Some of these specific recommendations may be modified if and when new data become available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)462-470
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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