ASTRO: Little Growth of Protons for Prostate Cancer

Excerpt:

“Use of proton therapy to treat cancer continued a modest but steady increase, although the biggest driver of the therapy — prostate cancer — remained stagnant, according to data from a national trade group.

“From 2012 through 2015, the annual photon therapy case volume increased from 5,377 to 7,711 at the centers in operation during that period. Prostate cancer remained the largest single contributing condition to case volume throughout the period. However, any hoped-for increase in volume never materialized.”

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Proton Therapy Shown to be Less Costly than Some Alternative Radiotherapy Techniques

“In terms of duration of treatment and cost, patients with early stage breast cancer may benefit from accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) with proton therapy versus whole breast irradiation (WBI), according to new research from The University of Texas MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center.

“In a cost analysis study based on typical patient characteristics, researchers used Medicare reimbursement codes to analyze allowable charges for eight different types of partial and whole breast irradiation therapies and treatment schedules available to early stage breast cancer patients. Taken together, these represent roughly 98% of the treatment options available to these patients. The cost of proton therapy when used for APBI, introduced to decrease overall treatment time and toxicity, was estimated at $13,833. Comparatively, WBI using IMRT (x-ray) therapy resulted in the highest Medicare charges at $19,599. The average charges across the eight treatment regimens were $12,784; thus, proton costs were similar to that of other types of radiation.

“The findings were presented at the inaugural North America meeting of the Particle Therapy Co-Operative Group (PTCOG) held at MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center. A manuscript detailing the study findings is underway.”


97 Percent of Prostate Cancer Patients Treated with Proton Therapy Have Not Suffered Recurrence

“Approximately 97 percent of patients who received only an advanced form of radiation called proton therapy for prostate cancer report that they have not experienced a recurrence of their disease, according to a new survey of nearly 4,000 patients released today at the second annual National Proton Conference in Arlington, VA. “


Proton Therapy for Prostate Cancer Results in Long-Term Patient Survival and Excellent Quality of Life

“Five years after having proton therapy for early- and intermediate-risk prostate cancer, 99 percent of men are living cancer-free and with excellent quality of life, according to a University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute study. Three-quarters of those with high-risk prostate cancer are also disease-free.”


Doubts Incite Conflict over Prostate Cancer Vaccine Provenge

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Study Finds Surgery for Early Prostate Cancer Unecessary

A recent study evaluated the usefulness of surgery versus observation to treat localized prostate cancer. In the study, 731 men were followed for 10 years. Those treated with surgery did not have a significant decreased risk of death compared to those who were observed for advancing cancer.

Primary source: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1113162?query=featured_home


Yearly Prostate Cancer Screening May Decrease Quality of Life

A recent study weighed the benefits of yearly prostate cancer screening, finding that the potential disadvantages decrease the potential advantages by 23%. Harmful results of yearly prostate screening include negative prostate biopsies, radical prostatectomy, and radiation therapy.


Prostate Cancer Gene May Determine Tumor Growth, Return

A recent study found a relationship between the SPARCL1 gene and prostate cancer recurrence. Individuals who had lower activity of the gene had a higher risk of prostate cancer recurrence over 10 years. A test to detect SPARCL1 is being designed.

Primary source: http://www.pnas.org/content/109/37/14977.full.pdf+html


NEJM Poll Reveals Lack of Consensus Among Clinicians over PSA Screening

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