5-Day Radiation Regimen Safe, Effective for Individuals With Severe Prostate Cancer

For individuals with high-risk forms of prostate cancer, a 5-day course of radiation delivered in larger doses is as safe and effective as the traditional 45-day course of radiation, according to a study conducted by researchers at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. According to the investigators, the findings demonstrate that a 5-day regimen of stereotactic body radiotherapy, a form of external beam radiation therapy that uses a higher dose of radiation, had a 4-year cure rate of 82%.

The investigators analyzed data gathered from 344 men with high-risk prostate cancer who were enrolled in a clinical trial from 7 institutions across the globe, including UCLA. The minimum follow-up was 24 months and the median follow-up was 49.5 months. According to the investigators, this is the largest dataset to date examining this type of treatment in adults with more aggressive types of prostate cancer to determine whether it could help improve their overall quality of life.

The current study builds on previous research conducted at UCLA, which provided significant evidence that a shortened regimen of radiation could be a viable treatment option for men with low- and intermediate-risk prostate cancer. In response to these data, the investigators broadened the study to evaluate the viability of this type of treatment in men with higher-risk disease.

“Conventional radiation, which requires daily visits for treatment, can be burdensome for many,” the study authors said in a press release. “Shortening radiation therapy from 6-and-a-half weeks to 5 days is a significant advancement that can help improve the overall quality of life for men with prostate cancer.”

Adverse events (AEs) were rare and low in severity. Approximately 2% of participants experienced urinary issues, whereas less than 1% experienced bowel AEs.

REFERENCE

Study finds shorter radiation regimen safe, effective for men with advanced prostate cancer [news release]. EurekAlert; January 25, 2021. Accessed July 28, 2021. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/473882