Proton Beam Radiation Therapy
Proton beam therapy focuses beams of protons instead of x-rays on the cancer. Unlike x-rays, which release energy both before and after they hit their target, protons cause little damage to tissues they pass through and release their energy only after traveling a certain distance. This means that proton beam radiation can, in theory, deliver more radiation to the prostate while doing less damage to nearby normal tissues. Proton beam radiation can be aimed with techniques similar to 3D-CRT and IMRT.
Although in theory proton beam therapy might be more effective than using x-rays, so far studies have not shown if this is true. Right now, proton beam therapy is not widely available. The machines needed to make protons are very expensive, and they arent available in many centers in the United States. Proton beam radiation might not be covered by all insurance companies at this time.
Why Measuring Survival Is Less Important Than Measuring Psa
Using survival as the measure for a successful prostate cancer treatment does not tell you whether the cancer is gone. Only PSA level can tell you that. If you fail the initial treatment, you can live with prostate cancer for many years. For example, one treatment can have a prostate cancer control rate of 80%, but because patients can live with their cancer for a long time, the survival rate may be 90%. It is very important to know the likelihood of requiring additional treatment and also the effects of additional treatment. Failure of the primary prostate cancer treatment will have a large impact on the quality of life.
The measurement used by the Foundation, Percent PSA Progression Free, is an estimate, prior to treatment, of a particular treatment failure rate, and the likelihood of not requiring additional treatment. Survival measurement does not provide this important information. Please understand this important point. If the survival rate of competing treatments are equal, this does not mean the cancer control rate, long term side effects, or the quality of life are equal.
Focal Therapy For Prostate Cancer
With recent advances in MRI and targeted biopsy, we are better able to locate the exact area of prostate cancer. Men who do not have an enlarged prostate, who have prostate cancer that is detected only in a single region of the prostate and have intermediate grade cancer can be a candidate for focal therapy. This type of therapy treats only the cancerous tissue and spares the normal prostate, thereby preserving urinary and sexual function
Here at UCLA we commonly use cryotherapy or HIFU to focally treat prostate cancer. Given that this is a relatively new form of treatment, we have established rigorous post-treatment protocols using MRI and biopsies to ensure that the cancer has been adequately treated.
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How Prostate Cancer Staging And Risk Stratification Affect Treatment Options
Your treatment choices are determined by several factors, including your cancers stage, aggressiveness and assigned risk stratification . Your age and current general health condition may also affect your choices.
Prostate cancer staging
Prostate cancer staging determines whether the cancer is confined to the prostate gland or whether theres evidence of metastasis, meaning its spread to other areas of the body.
Tools and methods to determine staging may include the prostate-specific antigen test, the digital rectal examination , the Gleason score and the American Joint Committee on Cancer TNM system, which provides information on the tumor, lymph node involvement and metastasis of a cancer. Imaging tests, such as a PET/CT scan, may also help determine your cancers stage.
Localized, meaning theres no indication that the cancer has spread beyond the prostate
Regional, meaning theres evidence of cancer cells in nearby lymph nodes or tissue
Distant, meaning theres evidence the cancer has spread to other organs or body parts farther from the prostate
Almost 90 percent of prostate cancers are diagnosed at the localized or regional stage. The five-year relative survival rate for men diagnosed with prostate cancer at these stages is nearly 100 percent.
Prostate cancer risk assessment
Surgery For Prostate Cancer
A radical prostatectomy is the surgical removal of the prostate. This procedure may be performed through traditional open surgery, which involves one large incision in the abdomen. Laparoscopic surgery using the robotic daVinci® Surgical System is a minimally invasive alternative. Robotic surgery only requires a few small incisions in the abdomen, which may result in reduced pain, lower risk of infection and a shorter hospital stay after surgery.
The technology associated with the robotic surgical system is designed to give the surgeon greater precision and control, which may help spare healthy tissue and one or two of the nerve bundles on the sides of the prostate. This often allows the patient to have better erectile functionin both the short term and long term.
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How Is Radiation Therapy Used To Treat Cancer In Dogs
To protect normal cells, veterinarians carefully limit the doses of radiation and spread the treatment out over time. They also shield as much normal. tissue as possible while they aim the radiation at the site of the cancer. There are two approaches for using radiation therapy in dogs curative and palliative.
External Beam Radiation For Prostate Cancer
When most patients think of radiation therapy, they think of external beam radiation therapy , in which a beam of radiation is directed at cancerous tissue from outside the body. Technological advances, such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy and image-guided radiation therapy , allow radiation oncologists to use computer-controlled devices and image-guidance technology to see and target a three-dimensional image of the tumor, making the treatment more precise than ever before.
EBRT used to require 40-45 daily treatments. Now, 25-28 treatments are the norm. This type of protracted, fractionated radiation therapy, however, is now generally considered to be less appropriate for low-risk and favorable intermediate-risk patients. Instead, hypofractionated techniques and brachytherapy techniques are generally more advisable for many patients.
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Communicate With Your Doctor
The most critical recommendation to reduce your risk is to keep in communication with your doctor. Your case is different from any other, and you deserve personalized treatment. These recommendations should adapt to your case, too. Thus, talk to your doctor and follow recommendations. If your doctor considers it appropriate to screen with PSA testing, talk about the pros and cons with him. And if you need treatment, discuss the benefits and drawbacks of your treatment options. Ask questions and inform yourself about prostate cancer and what to do about it.
Survival Rates With External Beam Radiation Therapy In Newly Diagnosed Elderly Metastatic Prostate Cancer Patients
This article was originally published here
Prostate. 2021 Oct 11. doi: 10.1002/pros.24249. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: The survival benefit of primary external beam radiation therapy has never been formally tested in elderly men who were newly diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer . We hypothesized that elderly patients may not benefit of EBRT to the extent as younger newly diagnosed mPCa patients, due to shorter life expectancy.
METHODS: We relied on Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results to identify elderly newly diagnosed mPCa patients, aged > 75 years. Kaplan-Meier, univariable and multivariable Cox regression models, as well as Competing Risks Regression models tested the effect of EBRT versus no EBRT on overall mortality and cancer-specific mortality .
RESULTS: Of 6556 patients, 1105 received EBRT . M1b stage was predominant in both EBRT and no EBRT groups, followed by M1c and M1a . Median overall survival was 23 months for EBRT and 23 months for no EBRT . Similarly, median cancer-specific survival was 29 months for EBRT versus 30 months for no EBRT . After additional multivariable adjustment, EBRT was not associated with lower OM or lower CSM in the entire cohort, as well as after stratification for M1b and M1c substages.
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Study Population And Characteristics
During the study period, 373 patients diagnosed with IR prostate cancer were treated in the Radiation Oncology Department of the CSMC 196 patients were treated with RT with concomitant short-term ADT, and 177 patients with RT alone. Table shows population and treatment-related characteristics of patients treated with RT and short-term ADT and RT alone. Patients in both arms were similar in terms of mean age at time of therapy, Gleason score at biopsy, fiducials implants, RT treatment modality , and the Charlson comorbidity score. The mean follow-up time was 55.9±37.2months and did not significantly differed between the two treatment groups. However, compared to patients treated with RT alone, patients treated with a combination of RT+ ADT had significantly more unfavorable risk factors including: higher PSA levels before RT treatment, more intermediate-risk risk factors, and a higher percent of positive cores on biopsy. Moreover, patients receiving RT and ADT had higher T-stage, however the difference did not reach statistical significance . The vast majority of patients in both groups did not receive pelvic lymph node RT , and a higher fraction of patients receiving RT and ADT were administered pelvic lymph node RT.
Table 1 Patient characteristics and treatment
Side Effects Of Radiation Therapy
Compared to earlier radiation methods, these modern techniques reduce the chance of urinary and bowel problems.
With several treatment options available, your doctor will work with you to develop and oversee a treatment plan that precisely addresses your prostate cancer while minimizing the risk to surrounding tissues.
This is why it is important to choose an experienced radiation oncologist who specializes in the management of prostate cancer. High volume centers where practitioners have significant experience and treat large numbers of patients with prostate cancer may be associated with good outcomes and fewer lasting problems related to treatment. The majority of patients who undergo radiation do not have permanent effects on bowel or urinary function, and patients who develop erectile difficulty after these therapies can often be treated successfully with medications such as sildenafil or tadalafil.
Radical Prostatectomy vs. Radiation: How to Compare the Results
Making a decision about prostate cancer treatment is not easy. When considering radiation therapy or radical prostatectomy, one of your top concerns is seeking reassurance that your cancer will be cured following treatment.
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How Does External Beam Radiation Therapy Work
External beam radiation therapy, or EBRT, uses a machine to direct high-energy X-rays at the cancer in daily doses. The radiation beam is generated by a machine called a linear accelerator or LINAC. Using treatment planning computers and software, your treatment team controls the size and shape of the beam as well as how it is directed at your body to most effectively treat your tumor and minimize damage to surrounding normal tissue.
To minimize side effects, the treatments are typically given five days a week over a six-to-nine week period. The break in days allows the doctors to get enough radiation into the body to kill the cancer while giving healthy cells time to recover.
Watch our expert medical oncologist, Dr. Alicia Morgans from Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, discuss external beam radiation therapy:
Which Treatments Are Best In Keeping Men In Remission
Here is your opportunity to compare prostate cancer treatments. Over 129,000 patients underwent PSA monitoring after treatment to see which treatments were most effective at keeping the cancer in remission. The charts show which treatments are more likely to leave patients Prostate Cancer Free, for how many years. Share this data, talk with your Doctor, or multiple Doctors and make an informed decision. Select the treatment option, that is best for you.
Compare Prostate Cancer Treatments by gathering information about your own Prostate Cancer Diagnosis. Your Doctor will provide three elements that describe your prostate cancer. Your PSA, Stage and Gleason Score. These three elements help you determine your risk group. Find and select your Risk Group in the table below. This will take you to the comparing prostate cancer treatments page, where you can select different prostate cancer treatments on an interactive chart and graphically see their effectiveness over time.
The treatments included in this study are Prostate Surgery or Prostatectomy, , Brachytherapy or Seeds, High Dose Rate Radiation, HDR, External Beam Radiation Therapy or EBRT, Androgen Deprivation Therapy, ADT, or Hormone Treatment, Proton Therapy, High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound, HIFU, Cryotherapy, Cryo and Hypo-Fractionated External Beam Radiation Therapy. For more advanced prostate cancer, treatments are combined to increase effectiveness.
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How Is Yale Medicine’s Approach Unique
“At Yale Medicine, we take a number of approaches that set our care apart,” says Dr. Yu. “First, we have a large physics staff that is essential to designing and verifying our radiation treatment plans. Second, we make it a point to evaluate new radiation technologies critically. We dont hold onto old approaches, but neither do we jump on the latest trends without seriously assessing what they will contribute.”
Third, adds Dr. Yu, we are running a growing prostate cancer research program and Yale Medicine is home to leading voices in urology, medical oncology and radiation oncology. “Were also on the forefront of MRI-guided prostate biopsy,” he says, “and, our bedrock is Yales multidisciplinary prostate cancer program, which brings together multiple insights collaboratively.”
Obesity And Dietary Habits
High-fat intake, the Western diet, obesity, and sedentary behavior are all associated with a higher incidence of prostate cancer. High calcium intake and a diet high in milk products can increase the risk. After being diagnosed with prostate cancer, calcium can increase the risk of aggressive types. On the other hand, whole milk increases the risk of recurrence of prostate cancer. Obese and overweight men are particularly prone to this increase in recurrence. Another dietary risk factor is vitamin D insufficiency. Meat consumption increases cancer risk, while fish consumption lowers the mortality rate.
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Overview Of The Staging System
After a thorough assessment by your oncologist, your cancer will be assigned a stage between I and IV. Prostate cancer stages are based on the American Joint Committee on Cancer TNM system. Using the TNM system, your oncologist:
- Examines the tumor
- Determines if the cancer has spread to any lymph nodes
- Assesses whether the cancer has metastasized
- Considers the prostate-specific antigen level from blood testing
- Assigns a grade group based on how abnormal the cancer appears under a microscope
With this information in mind, you can better understand how stages are assigned and what they mean for patients in general.
Who Can I Contact If I Have Personal Concerns About My Treatment
Many hospitals and clinics have a staff social worker who can help you during your treatment. Check with your doctor to see if this is available to you.
The social worker can discuss any emotional issues or other concerns about your treatment or your personal situation and provide information about resources. The social worker can also discuss housing or transportation needs if necessary.
People dealing with certain medical issues find it helpful to share experiences with others in the same situation. Your doctor can provide a list of support groups if you are interested. Your social worker can provide additional information, and you can look online for support group resources.
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Radiation Therapy In Localized Disease:
For men that need treatment for localized prostate cancer, external radiation therapy and brachytherapy can be alternatives to surgery. Modern radiation therapy is as effective as surgery when used to cure prostate cancer.
At this stage of disease, radiation therapy is used to attempt to cure the disease. However, it is also sometimes used if surgery didnt completely remove the cancer, or it came back in the area of the prostate after surgery.
These treatment options may require multiple visits. As always, it is important to consider costs and potential side effects. Scroll down to learn more about the different types of external radiation therapy or brachytherapy.
What Is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy And What Advantages Does It Offer
Traditionally, we deliver external beam radiation in 45 to 48 sessions over a span of ten weeks, using very sophisticated computer-based planning and enhanced imaging techniques and tumor tracking during the treatment. This is called image-guided IMRT and it is the current standard of care.
But there is increasing interest in giving this radiation in shorter courses of treatment. Many of the people we care for have a type of radiation therapy called MSK PreciseTM. MSK Precise is a form of SBRT that can be given in five sessions instead of the usual 45 to 50. MSK has been doing this for the past nine years, and the results in the several hundred people whove been treated have been excellent so far. The treatment is very well tolerated, with outcomes that are at least equivalent to and possibly better than the standard ten weeks of treatment. Because of its superior precision, MSK Precise has less side effects than more conventional radiation techniques, with extremely low rates of incontinence and rectal problems. The sexual side effects are low and similar to what is experienced with conventional external radiation techniques. And of course, its much more convenient for patients.
For patients with more-advanced tumors, we are completing a phase II trial in which were combining sophisticated brachytherapy approaches with MSK Precise. This kind of combination of dose-intense or escalated radiation may end up being a very effective regimen.
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Are There Any Side Effects For A Dog With Cancer
The brief high doses of radiation that damage or destroy cancer cells can also injure or kill normal cells. These effects of radiation on normal cells cause treatment side effects. These side effects may include a sunburn-type skin reaction, hair loss, inflamed mucus membranes, and diarrhea. Not all dogs develop side effects, but if they do,