Shorter but Higher-dose Radiation Course Cuts Risk of Prostate Cancer Returning, Study Finds

Shorter but Higher-dose Radiation Course Cuts Risk of Prostate Cancer Returning, Study Finds
Delivering radiation in a shorter time frame significantly reduced the chance of prostate cancer returning in men with an intermediate-risk form of the disease, a study found. The approach failed to improve survival, however. Researchers argued that a survival benefit may occur only in a subset of patients in excellent health. They called for more research on the topic. The study, “Conventional Versus Hypofractionated Radiation Therapy for Localized Prostate Cancer: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Noninferiority Trials,” was published in European Urology Focus. Radiation therapy is an effective prostate cancer treatment. Standard radiation doses delivered daily over 40 to 45 treatment sessions reduce cancer recurrence and increase patients' ability to survive without the cancer spreading. The standard treatment approach is called conformal radiation therapy, or CRT. Benefits also accrue when doctors deliver higher doses of radiation over 15 to 30 sessions. This approach, called hypofractionated radiation therapy, or HRT, reduces patient cost and inconvenience. But researchers didn't know whether HRT was as effective as CRT. So a team at Brigham and Women's Hospital decided to try to find out. They analyzed data from three large clinical trials — RTOG 0415 (NCT00331773), CHHiP (NCT00392535) and PROFIT (
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