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Highly targeted radiation technique minimizes side effects of prostate cancer treatment
Date:10/25/2010

to conventional radiation therapy. Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy, or 3D-CRT, uses computers and special imaging techniques such as CT, MR or PET scans to show the size, shape and location of the tumor and surrounding organs. Because the radiation beams are very precisely directed, nearby normal tissue receives less radiation.

Intensity modulated radiation therapy, or IMRT, is a specialized form of 3D-CRT that better shapes the radiation to the tumor. Using IMRT, it may be possible to further limit the amount of radiation received by healthy tissue near the tumor.

This study used the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)-Medicare database to compare the gastrointestinal and urinary complications of men 65 years or older with prostate cancer within two years of treatment with IMRT or 3D-CRT. The researchers specifically examined common gastrointestinal side effects like inflammation of the rectum lining (proctitis) and rectal bleeding, along with the urinary side effects like inflammation of the bladder tissue (cystitis) and blood in the urine (hematuria).

The study showed that IMRT was associated with a modest reduction in gastrointestinal complications associated with radiation, including proctitis and rectal bleeding. Urinary complications, such as cystitis and hematuria, did not significantly differ between the groups.


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Contact: Beth Bukata
bethb@astro.org
703-839-7332
American Society for Radiation Oncology
Source:Eurekalert

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