Research in Prostate Cancer is evolving in all aspects of treatment of this disease. The current research sheds lights on a new insight on Radiation Treatment in Prostate Cancer. The traditional radiation treatment of prostate cancer is using external beam radiation which is giving the treatment at a distance and has been in practice for over 50 years. Recently, a shift to the techniques of radiation treatment for prostate cancer started with using the Brachytherapy, which is the use of either radioactive probes inside the prostate gland (what is called high dose rate brachytherapy) or the use of radioactive implanted seeds inside the prostate gland. The essence from using this new form of treatment (Brachytherapy ) is to protect other organs close to the prostate (such as the rectum, large bowel or urinary bladder) from the effects of radiation exposure if the external beam radiation is given.
The current research https://www.redjournal.org/article/S0360-3016(19)33877-5/fulltext was recently published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology and Physics in 2019 by Tharmalingam et al. In this research all patients had Intermediate or high-risk prostate cancer https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4508854/ , were randomized between either receiving external beam radiation treatment that covered the whole pelvis ( Whole Pelvic Radiation Therapy WPRT group) followed by brachytherapy ( 401 patients) versus Prostate Only Radiation Therapy (PORT group) who received a limited external radiation to the prostate only to avoid radiation exposure to other organs followed by brachytherapy and followed by brachytherapy as well, (411 patients)
After a median follow up of 4.7 years, the biochemical disease-free survival is much better for patients who received the whole pelvic irradiation (89%) as compared to those who received only prostate irradiation (81%) ( P value 0.007)
The use of wider radiation fields to cover the whole pelvis is better than radiating only the prostate in terms of biochemical disease-free survival
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