A study, published recently in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, has determined that compressing radiation treatments from 8 weeks into 4 weeks delivers similar outcomes. The trial, led by University Health Network researchers (Toronto, Canada), was carried out on 1026 men who were monitored over 6 years.
Charles Catton from the University of Health Network commented: “We conducted a randomized clinical trial looking at a way of improving radiation therapy for men with intermediate-risk prostate cancer. Utilizing modern radiation therapy techniques that are very precise, we determined there was no noticeable difference between 8- and 4-week treatment regimens in terms of cancer control or side effects of treatment.”
Catton concluded: “In fact, for some men, the shorter regimen meant slightly fewer side effects (particularly regarding bowel function) and therefore improved quality of life. The compressed course of treatment is of great benefit to patients and also to the system in terms of being able to treat more patients in less time.”
The team also demonstrated that the trial improved patient care by standardizing quality delivery of precision radiation techniques among participating institutions. Overall, the researchers concluded that hypofractionated radiotherapy is more convenient for patients and should be considered for intermediate-risk prostate cancer.