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Ultrasound-guided transrectal implantation of fiducial markers for image-guided radiotherapy of prostate cancer without local anesthesia: Patient-reported gastrointestinal–genitourinary system complications and pain

 Department of Radiation Oncology, Izmir Medical Park Hospital, Izmir, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Cenk Ahmet Sen,
Department of Radiation Oncology, Izmir Medical Park Hospital, 1825 St. Yenigirne Boulevard, Karsiyaka 35520, Izmir
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcrt.JCRT_281_18

Purpose: The present study evaluates procedure-associated pain and side effects in the gastrointestinal–genitourinary system in patients with early-stage prostate cancer who were treated with image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT), accompanied by an ultrasound-guided transrectal implantation of fiducial markers, without local anesthesia. Materials and Methods: A total of 46 patients who referred to our clinics between 2012 and 2017 with a diagnosis of early-stage prostate cancer were included in the study. Before undergoing radiotherapy, all patients were implanted with three intraprostatic fiducial markers through the ultrasound-guided transrectal approach without local anesthesia. The patients underwent radiotherapy after the clinical target volumes were established, in accordance with the respective risk groups, and localization of the markers was confirmed before each therapy session. The levels of procedure-associated pain and side effects were graded immediately after the procedure through the use of a patient-based scoring system. Results: The faces pain scale – revised version was used for the measurement of the severity of procedure-associated pain. Of the total study sample, the facial expressions of 38 patients (35%) corresponded to level 0 in the study, seven (15%) to level 2, and a single patient (2%) to level 4. None of the facial expressions of the patients corresponded to levels 6, 8, or 10. The evaluation of procedure-related genitourinary and gastrointestinal system side effects indicated that nine patients (20%) experienced side effects, while no side effects were reported in 37 patients (80%). The reported side effects included rectal bleeding in two patients (4%), dysuria in three patients (6%), hematuria in five patients (11%), and frequent urination in five patients (11%). None of the patients experienced fever or hematospermia. All side effects were reported by the respondents as “a little,” while only one patient answered positively to the question on the frequency of urination. Among the patients who answered “yes” and “a little” to the questions evaluating genitourinary and gastrointestinal system side effects, the severity of these events was reported as Grade 1, corresponding to mild adverse, in only 9 (20%) patients. None of the patients experienced a Grade 2 or higher severe adverse event. In the comparison of the severity of pain of the patients during the fiducial marker procedure without local anesthesia with the severity of pain during the biopsy, 24 patients (80%) reported “lower” levels of pain, while five patients (20%) reported “equal” levels of pain. None of the patients stated that they had experienced “more” pain. Conclusion: IGRT accompanied by an ultrasound-guided implantation of fiducial markers without local anesthesia can be considered a safe method, given the associated acceptable levels of pain, low side effect profiles, and high prostate-specific antigen control rates.

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