High dose 3DC radiation improves 5-yr cure rate for suitable prostate cancer candidates - Fox-Chase
March 1, 2000. Most prostate cancer patients who opt to receive external beam radiation will have a higher cure rate if they are
treated with higher doses of radiation, a new study shows. The study was published today in the
International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics.
The study, conducted at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, PA, of 618 patients found that
five year cure rates were improved by 14 - 40 percent depending on the patients' disease extent
when the patients were treated with higher doses. These high doses result in the cure of more
than 80 percent of all patients with pre-treatment PSA levels of 20 or less.
Higher doses are possible because of three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT), a
technique that allows the radiation oncologist to "conform" the radiation to the tumor, thus
avoiding some organs and tissues nearby, says Gerald E. Hanks, M.D., Chairman, Department of
Radiation Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center. "Morbidity is very low if 3D-CRT is done," he
Yet, in 1998 (the latest year figures are available) only 40 percent of radiation oncology facilities
were doing 3D-CRT. The American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) is
planning a series of educational programs designed to teach radiation oncologists nationwide how
to appropriately utilize 3D-CRT. "We have the potential to cure more patients; it is essential that
we take advantage of that potential," says Dr. Hanks.
Breakdown of Results Based on PSA Level
|Favorable patients are those with T1 or T2a disease, Gleason score of 6 or less and no perineal
|Unfavorable patients are those with T2 or greater disease, Gleason score of 7 - 10 and/or
|Patients with a PSA less than 10
Favorable patients treated at 73 Gy - 89 percent are cancer free at five years
|Favorable patients treated at 70 Gy - 77 percent are cancer free at five years
|Unfavorable patients treated at 78 Gy - 92 percent are cancer free at five years
|Unfavorable patients treated at 73 Gy - 70 percent are cancer free at five years
Patients with a PSA between 10 - 20
Favorable patients treated with 77 Gy - 86 percent are cancer free at five years
|Favorable patients treated with 73 Gy - 72 percent are cancer free at five years
|Unfavorable patients treated with 77 Gy - 82 percent are cancer free at five years
Unfavorable patients treated with 73 Gy - 51 percent are cancer free at five years.
The International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics is the official journal of the
American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO), the largest radiation
oncology society in the world, with more than 5,000 members. The society's goals are to advance the scientific base of
radiation therapy and to extend the benefits of radiation therapy to those with cancer.
Fox Chase Cancer Center, one of the nation's first comprehensive cancer centers designated by
the National Cancer Institute in 1974, conducts basic and clinical research; programs of
prevention, detection and treatment of cancer; and community outreach. For more information
about Fox Chase activities visit their website at http://www.fccc.edu.
Other leading hospital and comprehensive cancer centers are listed in our searchable links section starting at