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.

Related Articles


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 November 28, 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 November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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