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Study examines adverse effects among different radiation therapies for prostate cancer
Date:4/17/2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. In an analysis of three different types of radiation therapy used to treat localized prostate cancer, compared with conformal radiation therapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) was associated with fewer diagnoses of gastrointestinal adverse effects, hip fractures, and receipt of additional cancer treatments but more erectile dysfunction, while proton therapy was associated with more gastrointestinal adverse effects than IMRT, according to a study in the April 18 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on comparative effectiveness research.

Ronald C. Chen, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, presented the findings of the study at a JAMA media briefing at the National Press Club.

"Prostate cancer is the most common malignancy in men, with more than 200,000 diagnoses and 30,000 deaths per year. Recent advances in technology have led to costlier treatments such as minimally invasive radical prostatectomy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy, and proton therapy. The adoption of these technologies resulted in a $350 million increase in health care expenditures in 2005 alone," according to background information in the article. Various organizations have called for comparative effectiveness research of localized prostate cancer treatments. "The clinical benefit from these newer treatments is unproven, and comparative effectiveness research examining different radiation techniques is lacking," the authors write.

Dr. Chen and colleagues conducted a study to examine the comparative adverse effects and disease control outcomes after different radiation techniques in a recent cohort of prostate cancer patients. Specifically, the researchers compared IMRT, which has been rapidly adopted and is currently the most commonly used technique, with the older conformal radiation therapy; and compared proton therapy, the use of which also has increased, with IMRT. The population-based study
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Contact: Dianne Shaw
dgs@med.unc.edu
919-923-6012
JAMA and Archives Journals
Source:Eurekalert

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