A recent study evaluated the effects of beta-carotene antioxidant supplements in patients undergoing radiation therapy for advanced prostate cancer. Researchers were concerned that the supplements could reduce the benefits of radiation. The study followed participants for 10 years and did not find a difference in progression to lethal prostate cancer in individuals who took beta-carotene and those who did not.
Accuray Incorporated announced positive data for CyberKnife stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for the treatment of cancer confined to the prostate. Several studies indicate that SBRT is as effective and possibly less toxic than traditional radiotherapy. Treatment with SBRT was effective with far fewer treatment sessions than are often required with traditional radiotherapy.
A recent study evaluated the use of sildenafil (Viagra) for preventing sexual side effects when taken after radiation therapy for prostate cancer. Participants were treated with sildenafil for 6 months and evaluated for 2 years. Erectile function questionnaire scores were significantly higher in the group who received sildenafil, suggesting an overall improvement in sexual satisfaction in these individuals.
Two studies evaluated the potential side effects of proton therapy for prostate cancer using quality-of-life scores. Urinary and bowel scores were similar to those of healthy men and satisfaction rates were high. Sexual function was affected, but results may be related to other factors.