Prostate Cancer – 3 New Landmark Studies in 2016 You Need to Know about

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The Cyber Knife offers amazing benefits to treating prostate cancer. Better outcomes, fewer side effects, greater quality of life.

1.  Stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy (SABR), like that delivered by Cyber Knife, is just as good for curing early stage and intermediate stage prostate cancer as more traditional radiation options, like IMRT or permanent radiation seed implants. 

Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW) in Dallas showed that stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy or SABR resulted in prostate cancer control rates of 98.6% at 5 years.  Importantly, 63.7% of those men had so-called intermediate risk disease and 36.3% had low risk disease.  The study was published in the European Journal of Cancer 59:142-151, 2016.

Only a few patients had moderate side effects, but the specialists at UTSW used a LINAC based radiosurgery, not Cyber Knife.  At First Dayton Cancer Care, our rate of grade 3 toxicity is much lower-   a tribute to our team as well as the Cyber Knife itself.  Cyber Knife is the only stereotactic  radiation system that continuously tracks prostate movement during treatment, thereby minimizing collateral damage to the bladder and rectum.

2. Stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy (SABR), like that delivered by Cyber Knife, is every bit as good as proton therapy, at a fraction of the cost and far less time consuming for the patient. Cyber Knife is done is 1 week versus 6-8 weeks with proton therapy.

In the study of 1,327 prostate cancer patients treated at the University of Florida Health Proton Therapy Institute in Jacksonville, the 5 year PSA control rates were 99% for low risk prostate cancer patients and 94% for intermediate risk patients.  And the side effects were the same as that delivered by Cyber Knife. The study was recently reported in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics 95:422-434, 2016. The reduced treatment time plus the fact that Cyber Knife  costs a fraction of what proton therapy costs, makes treatment with Cyber Knife a winner all the way around.

3. Radiation therapy added to hormonal therapy (called ADT or androgen deprivation therapy) cut in half the risk of men dying from prostate cancer.

And the results were huge! Radiation therapy added to hormonal therapy reduced the risk of death from 34% to 17% at 15 years. The study of 875 Scandinavian men with prostate cancer was recently published in the March 2016 issue of the Journal European Urology.  Importantly, the radiation therapy was only 70 Gy over 7 weeks, a lower radiation dose compared to 80 Gy over 8 weeks typically given to men with locally aggressive prostate cancer in the US.

Unfortunately, now that routine PSA testing in the US has declined, more and more men are faced with a diagnosis of locally aggressive prostate cancer requiring radiation therapy in addition to hormonal therapy.

If you have any questions about your prostate cancer, please feel free to call me, Dr. Edward Hughes, at 855-Dayton1