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PRT versus IMRT toxicity in Medicare beneficiaries with prostate cancer
Date:12/17/2012

There is no difference between proton radiotherapy (PRT) and intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) when comparing the toxicity among Medicare beneficiary patients with prostate cancer at 12 months post-treatment according to a study published December 14 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

IMRT is the standard form of radiotherapy for the treatment of prostate cancer, accounting for more than 80% of all treatments. Alternative treatments for radiotherapy have emerged, with the most notable being PRT. PRT treatment has surfaced partly due Medicare reimbursement, which reimburses PRT at a rate of 1.4-2.5 times that of IMRT. Despite its widespread use, the benefits and harms of PRT compared with other types of radiotherapy remain unknown.

To determine the long-term effects of PRT treatment compared with IMRT treatment, James B. Yu, M.D., Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Therapeutic Radiology, and colleagues performed a retrospective study of all Medicare beneficiaries aged 66 years or older who had received PRT or IMRT for prostate cancer during 2008 and/or 2009. Each PRT patient was then matched with two IMRT patients with both similar clinical and sociodemographic characteristics to assess the toxicity of each treatment, while the cost of IMRT or PRT treatment was calculated for each patient using the sum of Medicare reimbursements for outpatient and physician claims.

The researchers found that patients who received PRT were younger, healthier and from more thriving areas than those who received IMRT. While PRT was linked to a statistically significant reduction in genitourinary toxicity at 6 months compared with IMRT, there was no statistically significant difference in gastrointestinal or other toxicities at 6 or 12 months post-treatment. "The relative reimbursement of new medical technologies needs to be considered carefully so that physicians and hospitals do not have a financial incen
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Contact: Zachary Rathner
Zachary.Rathner@oup.com
301-841-1286
Journal of the National Cancer Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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