Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Seed Implants A Suitable Prostate Cancer Treatment Option For Men Of All Ages

Date:
August 18, 2009
Source:
North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System
Summary:
Men diagnosed with prostate cancer have a number of treatments to choose from, but it's a daunting task to figure out the right mix of therapies for an individual patient. Trends among medical professionals have tipped the scales in favor of some treatments for younger men diagnosed with prostate cancer. Scientists have now found that age doesn't make a difference in the long-term therapeutic outcome.

An illustration of Brachytherapy, showing needles that are used to implant the radioactive seeds into the prostate and the use of ultrasound to assess their location in real-time.
Credit: Image courtesy of North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System

Men diagnosed with prostate cancer have a number of treatments to choose from, but it's a daunting task to figure out the right mix of therapies for an individual patient. Trends among medical professionals have tipped the scales in favor of some treatments for younger men diagnosed with prostate cancer, but a new study by scientists at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and North Shore-LIJ Health System have found that age doesn't make a difference in the long-term therapeutic outcome.

Louis Potters, MD, chairman of radiation medicine at North Shore University Hospital and LIJ Medical Center, and his colleagues identified 2,119 consecutive prostate cancer patients treated between 1992 and 2005, and narrowed their selection to men under 60 years old. Their treatment regimens consisted of permanent prostate brachytherapy with or without hormone therapy, permanent prostate brachytherapy with external beam radiation, or a combination of those therapies. The 237 patients had been followed for an average of 56 months after treatment. They wanted to see whether there was a difference in the rate of progression among the treatments and if it had anything to do with the age of the patient or disease-related risk factors.

Age didn't seem to factor into the treatment equation, said Dr. Potters. Findings of the study were published in The Journal of Urology. "There is a whole politic to prostate cancer treatments," added Dr. Potters. "But the bottom line is that brachytherapy is an appropriate option for men at any age."

Prostate brachytherapy, or "seed implants" is the use of radiation implanted in the body itself. The idea dates back to 1913 when surgeons inserted a radium capsule into the prostatic urethra, the canal that runs from the bladder to the prostate. Implanting radioactive material locally to stop the growth of cancer cells was more art than science until the 1980's, when the development of transrectal ultrasound allowed surgeons to have a clearer view of the target tissue. It is critical that the implant delivers an effective dose to the prostate while avoiding surrounding organs.

The targeted use of radiation continues to be a common treatment option for men with clinically localized prostate cancer. The goal of any treatment is to stop the disease from progressing.

Dr. Potters said that the urological community generally refers younger patients for radical prostatectomy -- the surgical removal of the prostate -- over radiation or no therapy at all. Better screening and detection methods are discovering prostate cancer earlier in men. Knowing the long-term outcomes for each of the available treatments across the mid-to-late lifespan is vital. "It is even more important to understand treatment options and associated outcomes for younger patients diagnosed with prostate cancer," Dr. Potters and his colleagues wrote in the paper.

In a study of 2,119 patients in different clinical stages of the disease, scientists looked at the five and 10-year so-called "freedom from progression" (FFP). About 11 percent of those patients were under age 60. At five years, 90 percent of those who underwent the seed implant were treated successfully; and at 10 years, 86 percent had successful outcomes. Those rates did not change when the population was stratified into two groups – under 60 years old and over.

"It appears that a prostate implant, when performed well, is an effective treatment option for younger patients," Dr. Potters said. "Therefore, patient age should not bias one's options."

Each year, about 230,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer, one of the most common cancers in men over age 50. Treatment for localized disease remains controversial. About 20 percent of tumors never grow larger, even without treatment. Scientists are trying to figure out who these low-risk patients are and keep a watchful eye on them. There is intriguing evidence from autopsy studies that one in three men had prostate cancer that was not diagnosed when they were alive.

Is surgery best for younger patients? Is prostate brachytherapy as effective as surgery in reducing the risk of disease progression and death over a five-to-10-year period? And what are the benefits of seed implantation versus directing radiation beams at the tumor?

"There is no gold standard for outcomes in younger men with prostate cancer," said Dr. Potters. According to the new findings, he said, "Outcomes are impacted by disease-related risk factors but not by age."

He added that the advantage to brachytherapy is that the risk for incontinence is small, and impotence is not nearly as common as it is following prostate surgery.

Scientists at The Feinstein Institute are now studying the effect of the radiation dose on long-term outcome.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System. "Seed Implants A Suitable Prostate Cancer Treatment Option For Men Of All Ages." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090803185716.htm>.
North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System. (2009, August 18). Seed Implants A Suitable Prostate Cancer Treatment Option For Men Of All Ages. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090803185716.htm
North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System. "Seed Implants A Suitable Prostate Cancer Treatment Option For Men Of All Ages." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090803185716.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins