Monday, April 25, 2016

Highly targeted radiation cures 98.6 percent of early stage prostate cancers

This illustration shows how the Stereotatctic radiation beams
are precisely directed to the tumor, in this case a brain tumor 
CANCER DIGEST -- April 24, 2016 -- A five-year study shows that a highly targeted type of radiation therapy cured 98.6 percent of early stage prostate cancer patients who had undergone no other treatments.

The therapy, called Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT), involves high-dose radiation beams entering the body through various angles and intersecting at the desired target. The result is a concentrated dose precisely targeting the tumor while limiting the radiation dose to surrounding healthy tissue. The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center study done at multiple centers nationwide, including UTSW’s Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, shows that this approach offers a higher cure rate than more traditional approaches.

The study ­is the first trial to publish five-year results from SBRT treatment for prostate cancer. A total of 91 first-time prostate cancer patients diagnosed with stage I or stage II (low and intermediate risk) prostate cancer were treated prospectively and followed for five years. After that time only one patient experienced a recurrence of his cancer for a 98.6 percent cure rate. The findings are published in the European Journal of Cancer.

"The high cure rate is striking when compared to the reported five-year cure rates from other approaches like surgery or conventional radiation, which range between 80 to 90 percent,” said Dr. Raquibul Hannan, assistant professor of Radiation Oncology and lead author for the study said in a press release. “While the side effects of this treatment are comparable to other types of treatment, what we now have is a more potent and effective form of completely noninvasive treatment for prostate cancer, conveniently completed in five treatments."

Current forms of radiation is administered in 44 treatments given over nine weeks. In contrast, the SBRT highly focused radiation therapy is delivered in only five treatments, allowing patients to return to their normal lives more quickly.

Other clinical trials at the UTSW Department of Radiation Oncology are seeking to expand the application of SBRT to high-risk (Stage III) prostate cancer patients.

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