In a nutshell
This study reviewed the role of external beam radiation therapy in the treatment of prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer (PC) is a common and treatable cancer in men. There are many treatment options available. Treatment is usually chosen based on the risk of the cancer progressing, and patient preference. Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is a treatment option for prostate cancer. ADT blocks the production of male hormones, such as testosterone, responsible for cancer growth. External beam radiotherapy (EBRT) is also used. This is when a radiation beam is directed at the prostate from outside the body. Radical prostatectomy is when the prostate tumor is removed surgically. Surgery may improve survival in men with intermediate or high-risk cancer.
Patients are often followed up to check for biochemical recurrence (BCR) of cancer. This is when there is an increase in the prostate-specific antigen (PSA). This is a protein elevated in the blood during prostate cancer. It is not known which treatment regime is most effective for prostate cancer.
Methods & findings
This study aimed to assess the effectiveness of different prostate cancer treatment strategies including EBRT.
EBRT has been shown to reduce the risk of BCR. The combination of EBRT and ADT has shown to improve survival in patients treated for prostate cancer. ADT can be used both before and after radiotherapy, depending on the aggressiveness of the tumor. The dose and duration depend on the type of cancer, side effects, and patients preference.
Classic EBRT can damage healthy surrounding tissues. To improve this risk, image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) has been developed. This uses an imaging technique such as ultrasound or a CT scan to identify the exact position of the tumor. Therefore, there is less damage to the surrounding tissues.
Usually, EBRT is delivered in small doses over longer periods of time. It has been shown that larger doses over a shorter time may be as effective and with similar long-term toxicity. This is called hypofractionation.
Another technique used is stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT). This uses several beams of radiation from outside the body that meet on the tumor. This technique can also be used in spread cancer with a small number of new tumors. An alternative to EBRT is brachytherapy. This uses a radioactive seed implanted into the prostate. The radiation is then delivered directly to the tumor from inside the body.
The use of EBRT in prostate cancer is improving all of the time. A number of different regimes are available. Patient preferences play an important role in choosing a therapy.
The bottom line
This article reviewed the evolution of EBRT for prostate cancer.
Published By :
World Journal of Urology
Mar 08, 2019
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