A new type of radiation treatment may soon be offered for patients who suffer from prostate cancer.
Rather than the standard radiation therapy currently given, this new therapy is called stereotactic body radiotherapy.
It is a safe and effective alternative, and uses x-rays to more precisely target the sites where the radiation is to be delivered. It allows higher doses to be given over a shorter course of treatment.
Traditional cancer radiation therapy for prostate cancer can cause urinary problems and damage to the rectal area.
Early study results are promising. Patients who received stereotactic body radiotherapy had no greater number of side effects, and had fewer complications.
With the new therapy, patients were able to receive radiation treatment every other day instead of every day, which may have reduced complications.
So far, three years after receiving the new treatment, none of the patients has had their cancer return.
However, it is too soon to tell whether or not this type of radiation therapy will replace traditional radiation therapy as the standard of care of treatment for prostate cancer; further studies are ongoing. Still, this new method provides hope to many men who will require treatment for this condition.