A  A  A   Print
Newer Radiation Therapy Treats Prostate Cancer More Quickly: Study

Newer Radiation Therapy Treats Prostate Cancer More Quickly: Study

WEDNESDAY, March 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A newer form of radiation therapy for prostate cancer is faster and less expensive, but it can cause more urinary complications, a new study suggests.

The newer therapy delivers a greater dose of radiation per treatment than standard radiation therapy, which means prostate cancer patients can complete an entire course of treatment in one to two weeks instead of seven to nine weeks.

There have, however, been few studies comparing the costs and side effects of the two methods.

In this study, Yale University researchers looked at data from more than 4,000 Medicare patients aged 66 and older who received either the newer radiation therapy or the standard radiation therapy as primary treatment for prostate cancer.

The average per-patient cost was about $13,600 for the new therapy and $21,000 for the standard therapy. Two years after the start of treatment, patients who received the newer therapy had more side effects -- such as irritation of the urethra, urinary incontinence and urinary obstruction -- than those who received standard radiation therapy.

But even when the costs of treating those complications were included, the overall cost of the newer therapy was still lower than the standard therapy, according to the study, which was published March 10 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

"While these data are by no means definitive, our findings emphasize the need to carefully assess the impact of new cancer treatment technologies in actual practice," senior study author Dr. Cary Gross, a professor of internal medicine at the Yale School of Medicine, said in a university news release.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about prostate cancer treatment.

SOURCE: Yale University, news release, March 10, 2014

Today's Interactive Tools
Related Items

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.

Follow us online:

© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.