This new treatment mimics the dose deposition of brachytherapy, but it is done noninvasively, in an outpatient setting, without making any incisions, needle punctures or anesthesia, Dr. Timmerman said. The beauty of it is that the patient only has to come in for five outpatient treatments and is finished in a week and a half.
Dr. Timmerman has treated 11 patients at UT Southwestern using this new method with only minor side effects. As part of the study, he is trying to establish the treatments proper dose protocol. He also is establishing study sites at the University of Minnesota, University of Colorado and at a rural practice in South Dakota.
Health-care experts predict that about 218,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. this year, and more than 27,000 men will die from the disease.
Dr. Timmerman said the SBRT treatment might be ideal for people who live far away from an academic medical center or who cant stay away from their jobs for extended periods of time to receive treatment or recover.
Were targeting this population because they clearly need a better treatment, Dr. Timmerman said. If the treatment ends up being favorable in its toxicity and side effects, then even city slickers might want to have it too.
For Mr. Bridgewater, the treatment was a breeze. I didnt have to do anything except breathe.
And his prognosis is excellent. Tests show that the level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in Mr. Bridgewaters blood, which is elevated in men who have prostate cancer, was nearly nonexistent.
Actually, we are seeing that the PSA levels in patients undergoing this new therapy are declining more rapidly than one would expect with conventional treatment, Dr. Timmerman said. Its still early in the study process, but i
|Contact: Connie Piloto|
UT Southwestern Medical Center