News | February 23, 2015

UCLA Study Assesses Treatment Options for Men with Prostate Cancer

Results indicate radiation therapy most prescribed without consideration of risk factors

UCLA, prostate cancer, radiation therapy, study

February 23, 2015 — Researchers at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) have found that radiation therapy is the most common treatment for men with prostate cancer regardless of the aggressiveness of the tumor, risk to the patient and overall patient prognosis. These findings lay the groundwork for improved treatment assessment by physicians and to better inform men fighting the disease.

Led by UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center member Karim Chamie, M.D., the observational study analyzed the claims data of more than 37,000 patients from 2004 to 2007, provided by the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The study was published online in the journal JAMA Oncology.

The research was conducted at UCLA, and Chamie's team found that radiation therapy was the most common treatment at 58 percent, followed by radical prostatectomy (a surgical procedure to remove the prostate) at 19 percent. Other treatments trailed at 10 percent, including watchful waiting (where doctors wait and see if cancer progresses before treating it) and active surveillance (when patients undergo routine biopsies, blood tests and magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] to determine if cancer is progressing and undergo active treatment).

Chamie and colleagues discovered that radiation was the most common treatment prescribed regardless of cancer stage, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level, cancer grade or the life expectancy of the patient. The most significant predictor of a man receiving radiation therapy is a referral to a radiation oncologist. On the other hand, urologists and surgeons significantly incorporated the age and health of the patient as well as the aggressiveness of the cancer when recommending surgery.

"Doctors and patients view radiation as safe," said Chamie, associate professor of urology. "There's no anesthesia or hospitalization, the patient comes in for 15 or 20 minutes for their daily radiation treatment, it's localized to a specific area, then they get to go home. They often don't notice any immediate effects upfront."

But by two years after treatment, men often start to suffer side effects, said Chamie. These side effects may vary from being mild in nature to very severe.

If a patient has an aggressive prostate cancer and has a long life expectancy, then these side effects and risks may be significantly outweighed by the benefits of the radiation treatment. However, if a man with an indolent  prostate tumor and a limited life expectancy is treated with radiation therapy and suffers from these side effects during the twilight of his life, then he reaps no benefit and only suffers from the toxicity.

Chamie hopes these findings enlighten the public and allow physicians to make an informed decision when it comes to the best treatment option for men who may or may not benefit from radiation therapy in the long run.

"Men fighting this disease don't always need radiation or surgery as their only choice," said Chamie. "As we find more reports demonstrating the safety and efficacy of active surveillance, I hope patients and physicians look to this as the first treatment option for low-risk and indolent disease. Here at UCLA, I am proud to say that we have a robust active surveillance program that utilizes MRI and targeted biopsies to monitor and survey these indolent tumors."

For more information: www.cancer.ucla.edu

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
According to recent studies, an increase in the COVID-19 positivity rate correlates to an increase in mortality from non-coronavirus-related diseases. This includes breast cancer, and researchers believe fear of contracting the virus compels patients to stay home instead of completing their post-lumpectomy radiotherapy regimens.

Image courtesy of Zeiss

News | Radiation Therapy | December 21, 2020
December 21, 2020 — According to recent studies, an increase in the...