Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Despite hype, costly prostate cancer treatment offers little relief from side effects, study finds

Date:
December 14, 2012
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
Prostate cancer patients receiving the costly treatment known as proton radiotherapy experienced minimal relief from side effects such as incontinence and erectile dysfunction, compared to patients undergoing a standard radiation treatment called intensity modulated radiotherapy, researchers report.

Prostate cancer patients receiving the costly treatment known as proton radiotherapy experienced minimal relief from side effects such as incontinence and erectile dysfunction, compared to patients undergoing a standard radiation treatment called intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), Yale School of Medicine researchers report in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Standard treatments for men with prostate cancer, such as radical prostatectomy and IMRT, are known for causing adverse side effects such as incontinence and erectile dysfunction. Proponents of proton radiotherapy argue that the physical properties of protons may decrease these common side effects.

"Proton radiotherapy is increasing in popularity and more and more proton centers are being built throughout the country," said the study's lead author James Yu, M.D., assistant professor of therapeutic radiology at Yale Cancer Center and member of the Yale Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy, and Effectiveness Research (COPPER) Center at Yale. "However, there is a surprising lack of information about whether proton radiotherapy is actually superior to IMRT."

To find out, the Yale COPPER team studied a national sample of about 30,000 men with Medicare coverage who received treatment with either IMRT or proton radiotherapy for prostate cancer from 2008 to 2009. During this time, there were six centers offering proton radiotherapy in the United States and the authors found that some men travelled across the country for the treatment.

The team found that the incidence of complications such as problems with urinary function was slightly lower for proton radiotherapy at six months after treatment, but by 12 months after treatment there was no longer any difference. Despite the fact that there was no longer term benefit to the treatment in terms of side effects, Medicare paid over $32,000 per course of treatment, compared to less than $19,000 for a course of IMRT.

"We were surprised by these findings," said Cary Gross, senior author of the study and co-director of the COPPER Center. "Cancer centers are paying up to $100 million to build their own proton centers, and patients are travelling long distances to undergo proton therapy because the conventional wisdom has been that proton radiotherapy is better than IMRT. Our results suggest that this enthusiasm for proton therapy may be premature; it remains to be seen how proton radiotherapy will compare to IMRT at 10 or 15 years post-treatment."

Other authors on the study include Pamela Soulos, Jeph Herrin, Laura Cramer, Arnold Potosky, and Kenneth Roberts.

The study was funded by a grant from the National Cancer Institute (R01CA149045). Dr. Yu is also supported by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) and the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS), components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and NIH roadmap for medical research (KL2 RR024138).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. The original article was written by Karen N. Peart. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. James B. Yu, Pamela R. Soulos, Jeph Herrin, Laura D. Cramer, Arnold L. Potosky, Kenneth B. Roberts, and Cary P. Gross. Proton Versus Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer: Patterns of Care and Early Toxicity. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2012; DOI: 10.1093/jnci/djs463

Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Despite hype, costly prostate cancer treatment offers little relief from side effects, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121213172308.htm>.
Yale University. (2012, December 14). Despite hype, costly prostate cancer treatment offers little relief from side effects, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121213172308.htm
Yale University. "Despite hype, costly prostate cancer treatment offers little relief from side effects, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121213172308.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

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
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
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