ATLANTA—Prostate cancer (PCa) patients undergoing image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) experience a low incidence of treatment-related urinary incontinence (UI), researchers reported at the American Urological Association 2012 annual meeting.

In a prospective study, Simpa Salami, MD, MPH, of Hofstra University in New York, and colleagues enrolled 1,047 men who were diagnosed with PCa and opted for IGRT between June 2008 and November 2010. Patients had a minimum follow-up of one year after treatment, and UI was determined through baseline consultation before treatment as well as during follow-up.

Among the patients, 881 (84.1%) had no UI at baseline (G0), 158 had minimal UI (signs of dribbling but no pads required; G1) and 8 (0.7%) had UI that required pads or interfered with daily activities (G2). After a 12- to 41-month follow-up, of the 1,039 patients with no or minimal incontinence, 18 (1.7%) patients developed G2 or G3 incontinence (incontinence that interferes with activities of daily living with not control). Radiation therapy appeared to improve UI in about 79 (50%) of the patients with minimal UI, although researchers concluded that reasons for this change have yet to be determined.

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The low incidence of treatment-related UI makes IGRT is an attractive option for men to consider when selecting PCa treatment, the investigators concluded.