News | Prostate Cancer | December 02, 2020

Radiation Therapy Has the Greatest Impact on Patient Finances

For men with early-stage prostate cancer, choices about initial treatment carry varying risks of "financial toxicity," reports a study in The Journal of Urology, Official Journal of the American Urological Association (AUA). The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

Getty Images

December 2, 2020 — For men with early-stage prostate cancer, choices about initial treatment carry varying risks of "financial toxicity," reports a study in The Journal of Urology, Official Journal of the American Urological Association (AUA). The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

The cost of cancer care can be high and the financial burden of prostate cancer treatment can be a significant source of stress for men and their families. "Cost of treatment and the associated financial burden could be an important factor in treatment decisions," said Daniel A. Barocas, M.D., M.Ph., associate professor of urology and medicine at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. and senior author of this new paper. Financial toxicity is a relatively new term in cancer care and can be defined as "the distress or hardship experienced by patients due to the cost of cancer treatment."

Differences in financial burden of initial treatments for localized prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men, with an estimated 190,000 new cases being diagnosed this year. Because their cancer has not spread beyond the prostate gland, men with localized disease have a choice of treatment options, including active surveillance, radiation, or surgery.

According to lead author Benjamin V. Stone, M.D., "Modern treatments for localized prostate cancer provide comparable outcomes, with high rates of cancer control and patient survival." But do financial burdens differ according to the choice of initial prostate cancer treatment? To find out, Drs. Stone and Barocas and colleagues analyzed data on 2,121 patients from a follow-up study of treatment for localized prostate cancer.

The study included a questionnaire asking about the direct and indirect costs of prostate cancer and its treatment. Financial burdens were compared for patients choosing surgery (radical prostatectomy), external beam radiation therapy (EBRT), or active surveillance. (Other treatment groups were considered too small for analysis.)

In the first six months after prostate cancer treatment, 15 percent of patients said they experienced "a large or very large" burden of treatment costs. The financial burden was highest for patients who underwent EBRT: 11 percent of patients reported burdens consistent with financial toxicity.

Patients choosing surgery had higher initial financial burdens than those choosing active surveillance. However, these two groups were similar after one year. Financial burdens decreased over time: five years after treatment, only one to three percent of patients were still experiencing financial toxicity. After adjustment for other factors, the financial burdens associated with EBRT were up to twice as high as for surgery or active surveillance.

"Our research shows radiation therapy seems to have the highest financial burden for patients with clinically localized prostate cancer, compared to surgery or active surveillance," says Dr. Stone. "However, our study also shows there is a relatively small percentage of patients who experience a large or very large financial burden due to treatment, and the financial burden lessens over time."

Other factors contributing to higher financial burden included: higher-risk prostate cancer, younger age, non-white race, and lower education. "The association of financial burden with socioeconomic factors such as race and education is in line with the results of previous studies in the United States and worldwide," Drs. Stone and Barocas and coauthors write.

"Overall, our follow-up study suggests that radiation therapy has a longer-lasting burden of costs, compared to other initial treatment options for prostate cancer," the researchers conclude. They note some limitations of their study, including a lack of data on patients' income and other financial resources.

It's also unclear why the financial impact of EBRT is larger than for other treatment options. Stone adds, "Future studies should include data on out-of-pocket treatment costs as well as various types of indirect costs affecting the financial impact of prostate cancer treatment choices."

For more information: www.lww.com

Related Content

MRI Targeted biopsy is performed using cognitive fusion more easily with anatomical guidance based on the radiology report. MRI targets can be identified quickly in real-time along with micro-ultrasound targets, which may have been missed on MRI.

MRI Targeted biopsy is performed using cognitive fusion more easily with anatomical guidance based on the radiology report. MRI targets can be identified quickly in real-time along with micro-ultrasound targets, which may have been missed on MRI. Image courtesy of Exact Imaging

Feature | Prostate Cancer | January 20, 2021 | By Brian Wodlinger, Ph.D.
Historically when a patient had an elevated PSA (prostate specific antigen) test their urologist would take the next
The exceptionally high dose rate of the FLASH Beam is 3,000 times higher than normal therapy treatment (300 Gray per second vs. 0.1 Gray per second, Gray being a standard unit measuring absorbed radiation). Instead of treatment over 20 seconds, an entire treatment is completed in 6 milliseconds, giving the therapy its nickname, "FLASH." Image courtesy of Brian Pogue, PhD

The exceptionally high dose rate of the FLASH Beam is 3,000 times higher than normal therapy treatment (300 Gray per second vs. 0.1 Gray per second, Gray being a standard unit measuring absorbed radiation). Instead of treatment over 20 seconds, an entire treatment is completed in 6 milliseconds, giving the therapy its nickname, "FLASH." Image courtesy of Brian Pogue, PhD

News | Linear Accelerators | January 20, 2021
January 20, 2021 — A joint team of researchers from Radiation Oncology at Dartmouth's and...
Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 Transmission electron micrograph of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, isolated from a patient. Image captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH

Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 Transmission electron micrograph of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, isolated from a patient. Image captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Image courtesy of  National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH)

News | Coronavirus (COVID-19) | January 15, 2021
January 15, 2021 — In one of the first studies to examine the impact of the...
The "US Prostate Cancer Nuclear Medicine Diagnostics Market to 2027 - Country Analysis and Forecast by Type; PET Product" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering. The prostate cancer nuclear medicine diagnostics market in the US was valued at $194.47M in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.6% from 2020 to 2027 to reach $431.76M by 2027.

Getty Images

News | Prostate Cancer | January 13, 2021
January 13, 2021 — The ...
A study led by researchers at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has found that magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, frequently underestimates the size of prostate tumors, potentially leading to undertreatment.

A study led by researchers at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has found that magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, frequently underestimates the size of prostate tumors, potentially leading to undertreatment.

News | Prostate Cancer | January 11, 2021
January 11, 2021 — A study
Mirion Technologies, Inc., a global provider of innovative radiation detection and measurement solutions, announced that it has acquired Sun Nuclear Corporation. Sun Nuclear is the global leader in radiation oncology quality assurance, delivering patient safety solutions for diagnostic imaging and radiation therapy centers around the world.
News | Quality Assurance (QA) | January 08, 2021
January 8, 2021 — Mirion Technologies, Inc., a global provider of
RAD Technology Medical Systems (RAD) announced it is expanding its portfolio of patented modular healthcare solutions in 2021 with the introduction of a compact shielding facility designed to accommodate the latest models of low energy, self-shielded linear accelerators (linacs) that are now available worldwide. 

Image courtesy of Siemens Healthineers

News | Linear Accelerators | January 04, 2021
January 4, 2021 — RAD Technology Medical Systems (RAD) ann
RaySearch Laboratories AB has launched the latest release of its widely adopted treatment planning system. RayStation 10B adds support for brachytherapy planning and a new GPU Monte Carlo algorithm, which typically cuts final dose computation times to less than five seconds.
News | Brachytherapy Systems | December 29, 2020
December 29, 2020 — RaySearch Laboratories AB has launched the latest release of its widely adopted treatment plannin
C-RAD has been selected as the partner to implement surface tracking technology for three proton cancer treatment centers in the U.S.
News | Proton Therapy | December 28, 2020
December 28, 2020 — C-RAD offers a specific version of its Catalyst System for use in...