Proton therapy boosts prostate cancer survival and quality of life

15/2/2014

99% of men after receiving proton therapy for early- and intermediate-risk prostate cancer have no evidence of disease and enjoy excellent quality of life. 76% with high-risk enjoy the same benefits.

This is the outcome of a University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute study, published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics. It adds to the body of evidence pointing to a significant role for proton therapy in the effective and efficient treatment of prostate cancer, said Nancy P. Mendenhall, M.D., lead author and medical director of the UF Proton Therapy Institute.

“These proton therapy results compare very favourably with IMRT results, particularly for intermediate risk-disease, where disease control rates of 70% to 85% are typical,” said Mendenhall, the associate chair of the UF College of Medicine department of radiation oncology. IMRT is intensity modulated radiation therapy, a form of radiation that uses photons, or X-rays, to deliver radiation. Proton therapy uses protons, particles of an atom, to deliver radiation.

The study tracked 211 patients who participated in prospective Institutional Review Board-approved trials. In each track, patients were given proton therapy over an eight-week period, a shorter interval than typical with IMRT, which may last nine to nine-and-a-half weeks. Researchers used standardised data-gathering methods for both physician-reported and patient-reported outcomes.

Physician-reported data show cancer-free survival rates at five years for low-, intermediate-, and high-risk patients are 99%, 99% and 76%, respectively, while overall survival rates are 93%, 88% and 90%.

Moreover, the rate of serious gastrointestinal and urologic complications is low, at 1.4% and 5.3% respectively for all patients. Patients also reported good outcomes with respect to both urologic and bowel function.

 

Source: eCancer News: http://ecancer.org/news/5269-proton-therapy-for-prostate-cancer-results-in-long-term-patient-survival-and-excellent-quality-of-life.php

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