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Georgia Physicians' Study Published in The Journal of Urology
Date:2/26/2013

ATLANTA, Feb. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The March 2013 issue of The Journal of Urology, the official journal of The American Urological Association, includes a study conducted by four physicians from Radiotherapy Clinics of Georgia (RCOG), a Vantage Oncology affiliate.  This study, 25 Year Disease Free Survival Rate after Irradiation of Prostate Cancer Calculated with the Prostate Specific Antigen Definition of Recurrence Used for Radical Prostatectomy, is the first-ever to analyze 25 years of follow-up data after radiation therapy treatment for prostate cancer patients.

Frank Critz , M.D., founder and medical director at RCOG, the largest community-based prostate program in the United States, co-wrote this study along with three other RCOG physicians, James Benton , M.D., Philip Shrake , M.D., and Mark Merlin , M.D.  The prostate program at RCOG is the only program of its kind to have gathered and maintained a clinical records database for all patients over a 30-year period in a consistent and comprehensive manner.

"This study, the longest after irradiation of prostate cancer, confirms using the surgical PSA definition (PSA <0.2 ng/ml) that results from this program are equal to that of radical prostatectomy, thus giving men a choice of treatment and after 15 year follow up if the PSA is <0.2, late recurrence will be rare."

The study follows 3,546 men with prostate cancer, treated with prostate seed implants followed by external beam radiation therapy. None of the men included in this study received pretreatment hormone therapy. The implant procedure used in these patients was updated in 1992 given improvements in treatment techniques. From the sample, 73 percent had no evidence of prostate cancer 25 years after this irradiation program.  To compare like populations, this study compares patients treated between 1984-2000 to two previous studies that looked at patients who had surgical radical prostatectomy. The 15 years of follow-up data for these three studies calculated disease-free survival (DFS) based on a PSA<0.2 ng/dl. The surgical definition is much stricter than the one usually used in radiation therapy studies.  Results of these three studies showed comparable DFS at 10 (75 percent, 77 percent and 77 percent) and 15 years of follow-up (73 percent, 68 percent and 75 percent) respectively, showing that prostatectomy and the combination of seed implant followed by external beam radiation therapy are equally effective.  A sub analysis of patients treated with transperineal implants and external beam radiation therapy between 1995 and 2000 in our study showed a 15-year disease-free survival of 79 percent.

A secondary analysis in this publication includes over 300 men treated 16-25 years ago whose prostate cancer recurred after treatment.  Recurrences were PSA defined and results showed the majority of recurrences happened within the first five years after treatment and no recurrences 15.5-25 years after treatment.  This is the first to include interval censoring analysis when looking at time to recurrence. 

This study concludes that follow-ups are necessary for 15 years after treatment to fully evaluate any treatment for prostate cancer. If a man's PSA is <0.20 ng/ml 15 years post treatment, later recurrence of the disease should be rare. For more information, visit www.curingprostatecancer.com.

About Radiotherapy Clinics of Georgia
An affiliate of Vantage Oncology, Radiotherapy Clinics of Georgia was founded in 1982 and has earned a reputation for being one of the country's top prostate cancer treatment and research facilities because of its commitment to quality, use of the latest radiation technology and focus on research that enables it to treat men and women with different types of cancer, including breast, prostate, lung, colon, lymphatic and others. Radiotherapy Clinics of Georgia has treated 14,000 men for prostate cancer and has compiled its observations of these men, both before and after treatment, into one of the largest computerized databases on prostate cancer in the United States. For more information, visit www.rcog.com.

About Vantage Oncology
Founded in 2002, Vantage Oncology, LLC owns and operates 46 radiation oncology centers in 12 states. The Vantage network of affiliated and partnered medical groups has access to aggregated clinical information and best practices data from the treatment of approximately 1,100 patients per day. Vantage supports their affiliated physician partners including radiation oncologists, urologists, hematologist/oncologists, gynecological oncologist and surgeons by providing strategic planning, managed care contracting, information systems consulting, accounting resources, human resources and marketing services. As a byproduct Vantage's effective oversight of day-to-day operations, physicians are able to focus their efforts on patient care. For more information about Vantage Oncology, visit www.vantageoncology.com.

About The Journal of Urology®
Established in 1917, The Journal of Urology (www.jurology.com) is the official journal of the American Urological Association (www.auanet.org). It is the most widely read and highly cited journal in the field. It brings to its readership all the clinically relevant information needed to stay at the forefront of this dynamic field. This top-ranking journal presents investigative studies on critical areas of research and practice, survey articles providing short condensations of the best and most important urology literature worldwide and practice-oriented reports on interesting clinical observations.


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SOURCE Radiotherapy Clinics of Georgia
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