News | Prostate Cancer | March 31, 2016

More Radiation May Not Improve Prostate Cancer Survival

Study finds that while increased dose reduces PSA, overall survival and instances of metastases do not improve

prostate cancer, increased radiation dose, survival, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center study

March 31, 2016 — New technology has enabled doctors to administer higher doses of radiation to prostate cancer patients with fewer side effects. However, a new study shows that escalating the dose may not actually help a patient in the long term, at least not patients with localized prostate cancer. The results were published online last week in the American Journal of Clinical Oncology.

"In the field of radiation oncology, we often assume that the highest dose that the body can tolerate will be most effective at killing cancer," said Robert Den, M.D., a researcher at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University and senior author on the paper. "Our results argue that this may not be the case, at least not with lower-risk prostate cancer patients."

Den — an associate professor of radiation oncology, cancer biology and urology at Jefferson — and colleagues analyzed data from 12 randomized controlled trials of external beam radiation treatment for men with non-metastatic prostate cancer, which included a total of 6,884 patients. By pooling data from multiple clinical trials, the researchers were able to see trends that would not have been apparent in the individual studies.

Rather than use the typical proxy for patient improvement, the prostate cancer antigen (PSA) test, the researchers looked at long-term outcomes such as the development of metastatic cancer and death from cancer. They found that while PSA levels decreased as patients received higher doses of radiation, the overall survival and incidence of metastases, among other measures, did not improve.

"It's important to check our assumptions," said Adam Dicker, chair of radiation oncology at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. "This study suggests that our reliance on the PSA test as a proxy for patient outcomes may not as useful as many researchers thought, which has broad implications for the design of future clinical trials and the interpretation of current and previous studies."

Den’s study also demonstrated that increasing dose was not associated with worse treatment toxicity, suggesting that current practices are safe.

“These data suggest that other therapies may be needed with radiation to increase survival,” said Den.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

For more information: journals.lww.com

Related Content

Videos | Radiation Therapy | February 20, 2019
ITN Associate Editor Jeff Zagoudis speaks with Vinai Gondi, M.D., director of research and CNS neuro-oncology at the
Study Unveils Blueprint for Treating Radiation-Resistant Brain Tumor

NIH-funded researchers showed how gliomas may be treated with radiation and drugs that block DNA repair. Image courtesy of Castro lab, Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor

 

News | Radiation Therapy | February 19, 2019
February 19, 2019 — Researchers at the University of Michigan recently searched for new brain tumor treatments by exp
Amazon Comprehend Medical Brings Medical Language Processing to Healthcare
News | Artificial Intelligence | February 15, 2019
Amazon recently announced Amazon Comprehend Medical, a new HIPAA-eligible machine learning service that allows...
Videos | Radiation Therapy | February 15, 2019
ITN Associate Editor Jeff Zagoudis speaks with Vinai Gondi, M.D., director of research and CNS neuro-oncology at the
New Targeted Therapy for Recurrent Brain Tumors Implanted for First Time
News | Radiation Therapy | February 15, 2019
University of Minnesota Health (M Health) is the first in the United States to begin offering GammaTile Therapy, a new...
Micro-Ultrasound and Artificial Intelligence Combining to Detect Prostate Cancer
News | Prostate Cancer | February 12, 2019
Cambridge Consultants has partnered with Exact Imaging, makers of the ExactVu micro-ultrasound platform, as the two...
Canon Adds Radiation Therapy Package to Aquilion Prime, Lightning CT Systems
News | Computed Tomography (CT) | February 11, 2019
In the patient-centric world of radiation oncology, it is critical that computed tomography (CT) simulation is...
Elekta Unity MR-Linac Earns FDA Clearance
Technology | Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) | February 07, 2019
The Elekta Unity magnetic resonance radiation therapy (MR/RT) system recently received 510(k) premarket notification...
University of Oklahoma Cancer Center Begins First Proton Therapy Treatments
News | Proton Therapy | February 01, 2019
Home to the largest and most comprehensive radiation therapy program in Oklahoma, the Stephenson Cancer Center at OU (...
Study Assesses Risk of MRI Exams for Patients With Tattoos
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | February 01, 2019
A new European study concluded that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exams pose little risk for people with tattoos,...