IMRT-treated Prostate Cancer Patients Don’t Have Increased Risk of Secondary Disease, Study Reveals

IMRT-treated Prostate Cancer Patients Don’t Have Increased Risk of Secondary Disease, Study Reveals
Prostate cancer patients treated with intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) do not have an increased risk of secondary cancers such as leukemia or myelodysplasia, compared to the standard 3D conformal radiotherapy. The study, “Second Primary Cancers After Intensity-Modulated vs 3-Dimensional Conformal Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer,” was published in the online version of JAMA Oncology. IMRT is used often in clinical practice for the treatment of prostate cancer and has been shown to reduce radiation exposure to the healthy tissue, allowing focused radiation dose escalation to the specific tumor site. Although questions have been raised over whether this exposure could increase a patient’s risk of developing secondary cancers due to increased radiation exposure to the bone marrow, no concrete observational studies have been conducted to validate this hypothesis. Amy Berrington de González, DPhil, senior investigator of the National Cancer Institute's Radiation Epidemiology Branch, was the lead author of this study. González’s research focuses on quantifying potential cancer risks from therapeutic radiology to provide information for public health and clinical purposes. González and her colleagues compared the health risks associated with IMRT compared to 3D-CRT in terms of the patient’s risk of developing secondary cancers after treatment of their primary prostate tumor. This was an
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