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High Radiation Doses Benefit High-risk Prostate Cancer Patients
The randomized trial compared 149 patients who received a radiation dose of 70 Gy to 151 patients who received 78 Gy. This is the first such dose escalation trial for prostate cancer to be reported.
The study showed that patients with pretreatment PSA levels greater than ten significantly benefited from
receiving the higher dose, says Alan Pollack, M.D., professor of radiation oncology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. Forty-eight percent of the patients who received 70
Gy did not have rising PSA levels five years after treatment in contrast to 75 percent who received 78 Gy.
"Dose escalation to 78 Gy was achieved using conformal radiation therapy given as a boost," says Dr. Pollack. Conformal radiation therapy uses 3D-reconstructions of the prostate to better target the tumor and spare more normal tissue.
"We are continuing to follow these patients," says Dr. Pollack. The improved outcome causedby increased dose was seen mainly in those who had pretreatment PSA levels greater than
ten. "Patients with pretreatment PSA levels less than ten may also benefit, but at this point in the study the
outcome of the two dose groups was similar," says Pollack.
Alan Pollack, M.D. presented this study on November 1 at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology 41st annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas.