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Dess RT, Devasia TP, Aghdam N, Jackson WC, Soni PD, Smith CP, Mitchell AL, Suy S, Hamstra DA, Jolly S, Nguyen PL, Feng FY, Schipper MJ, Skolarus TA, Miller DC, Wittmann DA, Collins SP, Spratt DE. Patient-Reported Sexual Aid Utilization and Efficacy After Radiation Therapy for Localized Prostate Cancer. International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics. 2018 Jun 1; 101(2):376-386.
PURPOSE: To report sexual health-related quality of life outcomes and utilization and efficacy of sexual aids in a contemporary cohort of patients treated for localized prostate cancer. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Between 2008 and 2013, 471 consecutive men with localized prostate cancer were treated on 2 institutional protocols (NCT01766492, NCT01618851) or on a prospective institutional registry with patient-reported health-related quality of life. All patients were treated with ultra-hypofractionated radiation therapy. Erectile function (EF) was defined as "firm enough for intercourse" with or without aids per Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite-26 (n = 222 at baseline); results apply to this cohort unless specifically noted. Sexual aid utilization and efficacy were patient reported. Multivariable analysis of EF was performed. RESULTS: Median follow-up was 60 months, median age was 67 years, and 70% had intermediate- or high-risk disease per National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines. At 24 and 60 months, questionnaire response rates were 86% and 67%, and EF was retained in 53% and 41%, respectively. Baseline sexual aid utilization was 37% (n = 82) and was associated with lower 24-month EF preservation on multivariable analysis (adjusted odds ratio 0.49, 95% confidence interval 0.26-0.92). By 60 months, 70% of men had tried aids. Of those who found aids helpful at baseline, 84% to 89% reported continued benefit at 24 to 60 months. Among aid-naïve patients, efficacy was 80% with first-time use within 12 months and 70% more than 12 months after radiation therapy (P = .02). Among men who developed erectile dysfunction but found sexual aids helpful, 25% were not current users at 60 months. CONCLUSIONS: One-third of men used sexual aids at baseline, which doubled by 5 years after radiation therapy. Self-reported efficacy was high and sustained. Despite significant declines in EF, a number of men reported helpfulness of aids but were not active users. Future study is required to understand drivers of aid utilization to optimize posttreatment sexual function.