“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.”
“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.”
The National Association for Proton Therapy | Apr 2, 2014
“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. “
“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.”
Results of a clinical trial that evaluated the prostate cancer vaccine Provenge have come under scrutiny. Questions arise regarding the reported 4-month survival benefit that ultimately led to FDA approval. Disputers suggest that a flaw in methods led to the survival benefit, but that the vaccine may actually cause harm.
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.
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.
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.
The New England Journal of Medicine | Oct 25, 2012
The utility of (prostate-specific antigen) PSA screening to inform prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment has been a topic of heated debate. The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) conducted a poll that indicates a lack of consensus among clinicians regarding best prostate cancer screening practices. Many clinicians feel patients should make informed decisions regarding testing preferences.