Proton Therapy Preserves Quality Of Life for Men with Prostate Cancer – Studies

November 1, 2012 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer News

The report of two new studies that would soon be submitted to the 54th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) reveals the proton therapy helps to improve and preserve the lives of men with prostate cancer.

The particular area that should be considered is in the area urinary and bowel functions. The studies were conducted on patients who had been treated with the therapy by researchers for the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Here are more details on the study:

Two studies led by The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have found that proton therapy preserves the quality of life, specifically urinary and bowel function, in men treated with this targeted radiation modality for prostate cancer.

Both studies, led by Andrew K. Lee, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor in MD Anderson’s Department of Radiation Oncology, will be presented in a poster session at the 54th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).

“As oncologists, we obviously want good cancer control outcomes, but we also want to ensure that patients maintain a strong sense of continued quality of life after treatment, which can be very personal and subjective for each patient,” said Lee. “With this research, we looked at the well being of prostate cancer patients, post-treatment, and it was important that we obtain this information directly from men who actually underwent the therapy, rather than from their treatment providers,” Lee continued.

“In our own practice, we’ve observed that patients have done very well as measured by disease control and quality of life metrics. Our findings, both the wider-perspective multicenter study and the research conducted solely at MD Anderson, validate what we observe in our clinic.” The first, a multi-institutional study, and one of the largest quality of life studies of its kind ever conducted in such a patient population, involved more than 1,000 patients treated with proton therapy for various stages of prostate cancer. The men had all received proton therapy, with or without hormone therapy, at one of five proton therapy centers across the country.

All participants were at least one year to more than 10 years post-treatment. The men completed the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite (EPIC) survey, a comprehensive and validated tool designed to assess a patient’s health-related quality of life, including function and bother after prostate cancer treatment. (The survey uses a scoring system of 1 to 100 in several quality of life areas; higher EPIC scores correlate with better function and quality of life.)

The self-reporting was independently conducted by the patient, unaided by their respective treating institution. Click here to read the full posts.

So, the two new studies have provided a very promising result that tends to improve the quality of life of men with cancer of the prostate.

The quality of life for men after prostate cancer has not been a very pleasant encounter. This is more particular when it comes to handling urinary dysfunction.

With the proton therapy, men now may have less to worry about the damaging effects of other treatments — like radical prostatectomy and conventional radiation therapy.

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