Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Few Side Effects Found From Radiation Treatment Given After Prostate Cancer Surgery

Date:
September 29, 2009
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
The largest single-institution study of its kind has found few complications in prostate cancer patients treated with radiotherapy after surgery to remove the prostate. Men in this study received radiotherapy after a prostate-specific antigen test following surgery indicated their cancer had recurred.

The largest single-institution study of its kind has found few complications in prostate cancer patients treated with radiotherapy after surgery to remove the prostate. Men in this study received radiotherapy after a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test following surgery indicated their cancer had recurred.

Researchers say the findings from Mayo Clinic's campuses in Florida and Minnesota suggest that patients and their physicians should not overly worry about toxicity and side effects from the treatment, known as salvage external beam radiotherapy. The study findings will be published in the October issue of Radiotherapy and Oncology.

"There is a general fear of this kind of radiation treatment on the part of some patients and their physicians, but this study shows that it not only effectively eradicates the recurrent cancer in a substantial number of patients, but that there are few serious side effects," says the study's lead investigator, Jennifer Peterson, M.D., from the Department of Radiation Oncology at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

"It is really important that patients and their doctors watch PSA levels after a radical prostatectomy, which is a complete removal of the prostate," she says. In men who have an intact prostate, a PSA test can indicate either an enlarged prostate gland or development of cancer in the prostate, says Dr. Peterson. "But in men without a prostate, a rising PSA level indicates that cancer has recurred. After a recurrence is detected, there is only a narrow window of time during which radiotherapy will be beneficial in controlling their cancer."

"No other therapy besides salvage external beam radiotherapy has been shown to cure these patients," she adds.

In 2009, an estimated 192,000 American men will have newly diagnosed prostate cancer. Approximately one-third (about 64,000 men) will choose radical prostatectomy as their primary treatment, according to the National Cancer Institute. Large studies have shown that one-third of those men, about 21,000 patients, will experience a rising PSA — a recurrence of their cancer — within five to 10 years, says Dr. Peterson. "Two-thirds of these men, if left untreated, will have metastatic disease within 10 years, but the chances of that occurring are greatly reduced in patients given salvage radiotherapy," she says.

Lingering uncertainty about the effectiveness of salvage radiotherapy and its side effects have led many urologists not to recommend the treatment, says co-author Steven Buskirk, M.D., from Mayo Clinic in Florida.

This study, which lasted two decades, was undertaken to specifically document those side effects. It studied 308 patients with a median follow-up of 60 months after salvage external beam radiotherapy. Only one patient had a serious (grade 4) complication and three patients had a less serious (grade 3) side effect. None of these effects were fatal, and all were treated. Milder side effects were seen in an additional 37 patients, the researchers say, and all were successfully treated for these complications. Urinary leakage, a concern of many patients who choose not to use radiation, was not a common side effect of treatment.

Improved techniques in the administration of salvage external beam radiotherapy since the study began in 1987 likely would mean the rate of side effects today, compared to those in the study, would be much lower, says Dr. Buskirk.

"We can do a better job today with delivering radiation precisely where we want to, while minimizing dose to surrounding normal tissues," he says.

"In our experience at Mayo Clinic, the side effects of salvage radiotherapy in patients treated after a radical prostatectomy are minimal," says Dr. Peterson. "Even more importantly, it is the only potential curative treatment possible in these patients once cancer has recurred."

The study was funded by Mayo Clinic.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mayo Clinic. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "Few Side Effects Found From Radiation Treatment Given After Prostate Cancer Surgery." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090928131212.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2009, September 29). Few Side Effects Found From Radiation Treatment Given After Prostate Cancer Surgery. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090928131212.htm
Mayo Clinic. "Few Side Effects Found From Radiation Treatment Given After Prostate Cancer Surgery." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090928131212.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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