Proton Therapy No Better Than Traditional Therapy for Prostate Cancer Patients

This post was originally published in December 2012.

When it comes to treating prostate cancer, proton radiotherapy (PRT) is no better than traditional intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), according to a new study reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute on Friday.

PRT is an advanced but expensive treatment option for some prostate cancer patients. However, the researchers found that the therapy offers no added treatment benefit than the standard therapy. The article concluded: “Although PRT is substantially more costly than IMRT, there was no difference in toxicity in a comprehensive cohort of Medicare beneficiaries with prostate cancer at 12 months post-treatment.”

Philip Kantoff, MD, Director of the Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center

Philip W. Kantoff, MD, Director of the Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, responded to the study.

“There have been many advances in the treatment of prostate cancer over the past few years. I don’t see PRT yet as one of them. It does not appear to be superior to well performed external beam therapy either from the standpoint of controlling prostate cancer or managing treatment side effects,” Kantoff said.  “It’s not something I would recommend for my patients at this point.”

You can view the study abstract here.

You can read more about treatment for prostate cancer here.