Micrograph showing prostatic acinar adenocarcinoma (the most common form of prostate cancer)
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,” says Dr. 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.”
Dr. 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 6884 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.
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