Radiation Therapy Meeting Highlights; IMRT Review.
PCRI Insights is published monthly by the Prostate Cancer Research Institute (PCRI) and is must-reading for men with prostate cancer. The November 2013 issue featured a summary of several pertinent abstracts of presentations given at a recent annual meeting of radiation therapists. One abstract presented cure rates achieved with intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) combined with a boost from seed implants. IMRT is a refinement over existing radiotherapy modalities providing for a higher dose of radiation to the tumor while exposing surrounding tissue to less radiation. An excellent review of IMRT has been published in Cancer News. Another study compared the preservation of potency in young men treated with radiation as compared to surgery. A third study and commentary addressed the issue of when radiation therapy should be commenced after PSA relapse. Other abstracts addressed the issue of the timing of the use of hormone blockade accompanying radiation therapy. The final study examined the effect of the rate of PSA doubling on survival rates and times in relapsed prostate cancer patients originally treated with IMRT. Finally, it should be noted that the studies presented here focused on radiation therapy. A man considering treatment for prostate cancer is urged to consider additional modalities before deciding on a specific, personal course of treatment.