Shorter Course of Radiation Therapy Supported for Prostate Cancer by Oncologists in Editorial

Shorter Course of Radiation Therapy Supported for Prostate Cancer by Oncologists in Editorial
Shorter courses of radiation therapy to fight prostate cancer may be just as effective and safe as longer ones, but less costly and burdening to men with the disease, according to a commentary by two professors of radiation oncology. The opinion piece, “Six Questions to Ask Before We Shorten Radiation Treatments for Intact Prostate Cancer,” was published online in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology and Physics. It was co-written by Justin Bekelman at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine and W. Robert Lee at Duke University School of Medicine. Prostate cancer treatment currently involves daily radiation sessions that can extend to up to nine weeks. Moderate hypofractionation is a shorter radiation therapy consisting of daily sessions with a slightly higher dosage of radiation, taking only four or five weeks. "Moderate hypofractionation is high-quality, patient-friendly cancer care at lower cost," Bekelman said in a news release. "It is equivalent to longer radiation schedules in curing prostate cancer, has similar side effects, and is more convenient. Men can get back to their lives more quickly, which means less time away from the activities they enjoy and less time distracted by their cancer treatments." Three clinical trials (CHHiP, NRG 0415, and PROFIT) compared the effectiveness and safety of shorter and longer radiation programs. The trials enrolled a total of 5,537 men at low and intermediate risk of prostate cancer. Medical measurements and patients' reports showed that both programs had similar effectiveness and side effects, regardless of age, race, disease severity or whether patients had previously received hormone therapy, the commentary states. Moderate hypofractionation also costs
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