Abbreviated Radiotherapy Shows Promise in Prostate Cancer

Dramatically condensing radiation treatment for early prostate cancer into just 5 fractions produces good results without much toxicity, an early-phase study suggested. The hypofractionated schedule resulted in 99% biochemical and pathological control and only 1% experienced mild radiation side effects at 3 years, D. Andrew Loblaw, MD, of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto, and colleagues found.

Acute toxicity topped out at 1 case of grade 3 genitourinary problems among 83 patients treated, they reported here at the Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.

"That's a huge deal. Normal dosing is 40 to 45 fractions," Nicholas J. Vogelzang, MD, medical director of the developmental therapeutics committee of US Oncology, told MedPage Today. "Using accelerated hypofractionation, you can get what appear to be identical outcomes."

Not only would the once-weekly schedule with a total of only 5 radiation treatments used in the study be more convenient for patients, but it would likely substantially drop overall radiation costs, Vogelzang predicted.

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Source: MedPage Today