Background and purpose: This study presents an overview of the experience with transrectal and transperineal implantations of fiducial markers for position verification in prostate radiotherapy, regarding the practical feasibility, procedure-related toxicity and influence on quality of life (QoL). Material and methods: Since 2001, 914 patients scheduled for intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) have received gold markers in the prostate. The incidence of severe toxicity, defined by the CTCAE v3.0, was evaluated retrospectively. The influence on QoL was measured prospectively in 36 patients using a combination of three validated questionnaires: the Rand-36, the EORTC QLQ-C30(+3) and the prostate cancer-specific EORTC QLQ-PR25. Next, the incidence of marker migration was assessed. Results: From 2001 to 2005, 402 patients received markers via the transrectal route. Two of these patients developed urosepsis (grade 3 toxicity). Since 2005, 512 patients received markers via the transperineal route. No grade 3 or 4 toxicity occurred in this group. No significant and clinically relevant differences were found in QoL between pre- and post-implant measures. In 5 patients marker migration led to discontinuation of the marker-based IMRT. Conclusions: Clinical use of transperineal-implanted fiducial gold markers for position verification in external beam radiotherapy for prostate cancer is a feasible and safe procedure without influencing patients' QoL. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
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