The current state of brachytherapy nomograms for patients with clinically localized prostate cancer
For men diagnosed with clinically localized prostate cancer, definitive therapy with radical prostatectomy, external beam radiation therapy, or brachytherapy offers a high chance of cure. Currently, there are insufficient data to recommend 1 treatment approach over another, leaving physicians and patients to decide based on their own biases and preferences. Prediction tools, such as nomograms and probability tables, have been created as decision aids to facilitate patient counseling and decision making. Nomograms in particular can assess the therapeutic efficacy of a given therapy by providing individualized estimates of the risk of failure after treatment. The authors performed a comprehensive literature review to identify nomograms assessing the efficacy of brachytherapy in patients with clinically localized prostate cancer, and found a paucity of such models. Analysis of currently available brachytherapy nomograms reveals suboptimal predictive power compared with models based on other treatment modalities. The purpose of this review is to spur development of new and more accurate prediction tools for predicting outcomes after brachytherapy, offering physicians and patients the opportunity to equally assess the efficacy of all available treatment modalities for clinically localized prostate cancer. Cancer 2009;115(13 suppl):3121-7. (c) 2009 American Cancer Society.