Short-Term, High-Dose Course of Radiation Comparable to Standard of Care in Prostate Cancer

PHILADELPHIA (September 28, 2016) – Radiation treatment can be delivered to patients with prostate cancer at a higher dose and in a shorter amount of time with limited adverse effects, according to recent data from Fox Chase Cancer Center researchers presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) 2016 Annual Meeting.  

Researchers conducted a randomized trial comparing hypofractionated radiotherapy in which a higher daily dose was administered for six weeks to the current standard of care, conventionally fractionated radiotherapy, which is a lower daily dose administered for eight weeks. They found no statistically significant difference in long-term toxicity between the two groups.

“We are able to deliver the same care faster, and there are multiple potential benefits to this,” said lead study author Talha Shaikh, MD, resident physician in Radiation Oncology at Fox Chase. “Hypofractionated radiotherapy can potentially result in similar treatment outcomes while reducing treatment time for the patient.”

The quicker course of treatment can also benefit hospitals and health care systems because the reduced number of visits cuts down on costs.

“With increasing data supporting hypofractionation, it could be seen as an acceptable standard in the future,” Shaikh said. “This development is good news for everyone — patients, physicians, and health care systems.”

Fox Chase Cancer Center (Fox Chase), which includes the Institute for Cancer Research and the American Oncologic Hospital and is a part of Temple Health, is one of the leading comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase is also one of just 10 members of the Alliance of Dedicated Cancer Centers. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence six consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach. It is the policy of Fox Chase Cancer Center that there shall be no exclusion from, or participation in, and no one denied the benefits of, the delivery of quality medical care on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, disability, age, ancestry, color, national origin, physical ability, level of education, or source of payment.

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