Erectile Tissue-Sparing Radiation Technique Offers No Additional Preservation of Sexual Function for Men with Prostate Cancer, Study

PHILADELPHIA (September 25, 2017) – In a trial of whether a modified method of radiation therapy for localized prostate cancer would more effectively preserve men’s sexual function, researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center found no statistically significant benefit. Eddie Zhang, MD, worked with a team that used standard intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) with additional dose-limiting parameters to the penile bulb and corporal bodies, both of which are thought to be involved in erectile function. Of the men who received the erectile tissue-sparing IMRT, 52 percent retained erectile potency at 19-30 months after treatment, compared to 51 percent of men who received standard IMRT. In addition, men in both groups had minimal urinary and bowel symptoms. Zhang will present the study as an oral presentation during the annual meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) in San Diego on September 25.

“Although the results showed no significant improvement with erectile tissue-sparing IMRT, it is important that we continue to seek ways to improve and preserve quality of life during and after cancer treatment,” Zhang said.

The study also showed that men who received erectile tissue-sparing IMRT had the same cancer outcomes as men who received standard IMRT, indicating that limiting radiation doses to the penile bulb and corporal bodies is a safe and feasible treatment option.

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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