Radiation treatments show similar results in prostate cancer patients after surgery

Men's Health

For patients who require radiotherapy following post-prostatectomy, the prostate cancer therapies intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and conformal radiotherapy (CRT) achieved similar morbidity and cancer control results, according to new research from AHRQ’s Effective Health Care Program. 

IMRT is a newer and more costly treatment option for post-prostatectomy patients who have received adverse pathology results or have recurrent disease. Men who received IMRT versus CRT showed no significant difference in rates of long-term gastrointestinal morbidity, urinary nonincontinent morbidity, urinary incontinence, or erectile dysfunction. There was also no significant difference in subsequent treatment for recurrent disease. 

It remains unclear whether the potential benefits of a more focused radiation technique will be realized in terms of improving outcomes of men with localized prostate cancer, according to this population-based study, funded by AHRQ. Researchers used the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)—Medicare-linked database in their analysis, which is the largest study to compare patient outcomes from IMRT with those from CRT.  

More details are in "Comparative Effectiveness of Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy and Conventional Conformal Radiotherapy in the Treatment of Prostate Cancer After Radical Prostatectomy" by Gregg H. Goldin, M.D., Nathan C. Sheets, M.D., Anne-Marie Meyer, Ph.D., and others in JAMA Internal Medicine, 173(9), 2013.

Page last reviewed July 2013
Internet Citation: Radiation treatments show similar results in prostate cancer patients after surgery: Men's Health. July 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/13jul/0713RA35.html