Cleveland Clinic Specialists Mark Milestone in Prostate Cancer Treatment

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More than 4,000 patients have received brachytherapy for prostate cancer since 1996

"Patients have come to us from 32 states and 15 countries because of our brachytherapy expertise and experience," said radiation oncologist Jay Ciezki, M.D.

Prostate cancer specialists at Cleveland Clinic will mark the 15th anniversary of introducing brachytherapy treatment and also the completion of more than 4,000 cases this September as part of the health care system’s recognition of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Prostate brachytherapy is a minimally invasive procedure during which radioactive seeds are permanently implanted into the prostate. Cleveland Clinic began offering prostate brachytherapy in September 1996. The team passed 1,000 cases in 2004 and the program has since grown to become one of the largest in the country.

“Patients at Cleveland Clinic benefit from being able to consult with a multi-disciplinary team that has shown strong results in identifying cancer types and offering treatment options that consider the risk of recurrence and optimal quality of life,” said Eric Klein, M.D., chairman of the Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute.

The number and placement of these seeds are determined by a computer-generated treatment plan. Prostate cancer patients can receive up to 300 or more pellets at once, depending on the size and shape of the prostate. The targeted placement of the pellets avoids radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissue. The seeds remain in place permanently, but become biologically inert after about 10 months.

Prostate cancer is typically classified into three categories of risk, with the lowest category often requiring decisions most significantly based around quality of life.

Brachytherapy is most often offered as a method for treating low- and medium-risk cancers that are confined to the prostate. A team of more than 20 specialists, including urologists, radiation oncologists, physicists, and radiation therapists, offer the therapy at five locations throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system.

“Patients have come to us from 32 states and 15 countries because of our brachytherapy expertise and experience, which incorporates advanced imaging technology and still allows for same-day planning and implantation,” said radiation oncologist Jay Ciezki, M.D.

Cleveland Clinic also maintains one of the largest international databases that tracks prostate cancer patients and their outcomes sorted by treatment method. The information is shared with new patients so that they can evaluate what options work best for many other men.

Outcomes tracked by Cleveland Clinic starting in 1996 show that among patients with low-risk prostate cancer, at least 93 percent of patients tested were cancer-free after five years. Outcomes after 10 years showed that at least 83 percent of patients had not relapsed, across all treatment approaches.

In addition to brachytherapy, Cleveland Clinic offers a variety of prostate cancer treatment options that include surgical and non-surgical approaches. Options include removal of the prostate, called radical prostatectomy and variations include robotic or minimally-invasive techniques designed to minimize and preserve urinary and sexual function.

Non-surgical prostate cancer treatment options include active surveillance, an approach for slow growing cancers where a patient is monitored closely by a physician and treatment is administered when the cancer appears to be growing more rapidly. For more aggressive cancers, options include radiation through brachytherapy or external beam radiation, cryotherapy and hormone therapy.

About the Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute

The Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute is one of 26 institutes at Cleveland Clinic that group multiple specialties together to provide collaborative, patient-centered care. The institute is a world leader in treating complex urologic and kidney conditions in adults and children, and U.S. News & World Report has ranked the urology program among the top two in the nation for 10 consecutive years. Institute physicians have pioneered medical and surgical advances including partial nephrectomy, laparoscopic and robotic urologic surgery, and the bioartificial kidney, while serving tens of thousands of patients annually. For more information, please visit

About the Taussig Cancer Institute

One of 26 institutes at Cleveland Clinic, the Taussig Cancer Institute groups multiple specialties together to provide collaborative, patient-centered care. More than 250 cancer specialists annually serve 26,000 cancer patients, applying the most effective techniques to achieve long-term survival and improved quality of life. Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit, multispecialty academic medical center. Founded in 1921, it is dedicated to providing quality specialized care and includes an outpatient clinic, a hospital with more than 1,000 staffed beds, an education institute and a research institute. For more information, please visit

About Cleveland Clinic

Celebrating its 90th anniversary, Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. It was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. About 2,800 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 11,000 nurses represent 120 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic Health System includes a main campus near downtown Cleveland, nine community hospitals and 15 Family Health Centers in Northeast Ohio, Cleveland Clinic Florida, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Cleveland Clinic Canada, and opening in 2013, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. In 2010, there were 4 million visits throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system and 155,000 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 100 countries. Visit us at Follow us at

The information contained in this communication was developed by Cleveland Clinic's Marketing Department.

For more information on prostate cancer treatment options please contact:

Kevin Ziegler
Manager, Corporate Communications
(o) 216.636.5876
Fax 216.445.3040


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