Study Shows Proton Therapy for Prostate Cancer to Be Safe


Researchers at the Willis-Knighton Proton Therapy Center published their latest research results using proton therapy for prostate cancer in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology & Physics, entitled “Prospective Safety and Patient-Reported Quality-of-Life Outcome for Prostate Cancer Treated with Image-Guided Compact Pencil-Beam Proton Unit“.

The purpose of the study was to evaluate the side effects and patient-reported quality-of-life outcomes for prostate cancer patients treated with advanced pencil-beam scanning proton therapy, the same technology found at the Prague Proton Therapy Center.

The study examined prostate cancer patients treated between 2014 and 2017. These patients were asked to complete quality-of-life (QoL) questionnaires at baseline and subsequently at follow-ups. In addition to this, patient characteristics and tumor histology were obtained by medical chart review.

Urinary symptoms and erectile dysfunction (ED) were assessed and additionally, genitourinary (GU) and gastrointestinal (GI) toxicities were evaluated by physicians according to Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events and collected at each follow-up.

A total of 113 patients were involved in the study, and the median patient age was 68.4. Median baseline PSA was 5.9 ng/mL. Median Gleason score was 7.

The most common urinary complaints prior to treatment were increased frequency and urgency, and these symptoms improved after treatment at follow-up. Forty percent (40.3%) reported no/mild ED at baseline. This trended down slightly after treatment but remained stable at follow-ups (28%-32%). The rate of impotence refractory to medication at follow-up was low and similar to that at baseline (3%-6%). Acute grade 2 GU and GI toxicities were 6.6% and 0.8% at the end of treatment.

In conclusion, proton therapy using image-guided, modern pencil-beam proton therapy for prostate cancer was shown to be extremely safe. The use of proton therapy may improve urinary symptoms with minimal impact on sexual QoL in patients with localised prostate cancer.

This study adds to the growing body of evidence supporting the use of proton therapy for prostate cancer. To find out if proton therapy is appropriate for you or a loved one, please contact Proton Therapy UK and the oncologists at the Prague Proton Therapy Center.

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