PSA Rising

IMRT Accurately Delivers Radiation to Early Prostate Cancer, Lowers Risk of Rectal Bleeding

Nov 2, 1999 -- Texas (ASTRO). Intensity modulated radiation therapy is a safe way to accurately deliver high doses of radiation to the prostate while preserving normal tissue nearby, a new study shows.

The study of 171 patients with early stage prostate cancer compared three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D CRT) to intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). 3D CRT and IMRT are two techniques designed to better "shape" the radiation to the tumor, thus sparing a greater percentage of normal tissue, says Michael Zelefsky, M.D., associate professor of radiation oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY.

This study found that when the radiation oncologists used either of the two techniques, higher doses of radiation (81 Gy) could be used without significant urinary side effects. However, IMRT was more effective in avoiding the rectum and surrounding area, says Dr. Zelefsky. The risk of rectal bleeding two years after treatment was two percent for IMRT compared to 10 percent for conventional 3D CRT, he says.

Previous studies have indicated that higher doses of radiation are necessary in treating early prostate cancer, says Dr. Zelefsky. IMRT should be considered for routine use for patients who have cancer confined to their prostate, he says.

Dr. Zelefsky presented the study at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology annual meeting on November 1 in San Antonio, TX.

Updates for IMRT and other radiation treatments for prostate cancer:

Long-Term Outcomes for Prostate Cancer Show Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy Curative, Sept 2006.

Recent news about external beam radiation treatment for prostate cancer

The American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) is the largest radiation oncology society in the world, with more than 5,000 members. As a leading organization in radiation oncology, biology and physics, 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.

This page made by J. Strax, last edited Nov 5, 2005.

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October 28, 1999; page last modified Nov 12, 2006