Proton Therapy for Prostate Cancer
The Benefits of Proton Therapy
Research continues to demonstrate that proton therapy can lead to better outcomes for many prostate cancer patients. For instance, data released at the 2017 PTCOG national conference revealed:
Decreased Side Effects
Increased Survival Rate
Significantly fewer patients treated with proton therapy reported gastrointestinal, genitourinary, endocrine or “other” complications compared with intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). In addition, the proton beam therapy group’s 5-year overall survival rate was 93.25%, compared to 88.43% for IMRT. Patients who received proton therapy report highest quality of life compared to surgery, x-ray, or brachytherapy patients.2
Proton Therapy By The Numbers
5% increase in Overall Survival Rate for intermediate risk prostate cancer1
21% decrease in risk of urinary toxicity5
25% decrease in risk of erectile dysfunction6
35% decrease in radiation to the bladder3
42% decrease in relative risk of developing a secondary malignancy1
50% decrease in treatment-related bowel frequency and urgency5
59% decrease in radiation to the rectum3
Comparing Proton Therapy to other treatment options
When considering your treatment options for prostate cancer, it’s important to compare the impact each of them could have on your quality of life. Some treatments result in a higher risk of side effects. Some of those side effects are short-term, while others are long-term. We are strong advocates for each patient finding the prostate cancer treatment plan that is best for him.
The interactive illustration below compares proton therapy to traditional radiation (x-ray/IMRT) when treating prostate cancer. Proton therapy reduces the risk of side effects by delivering significantly less radiation to surrounding organs like the rectum and bladder. Slide the arrow to see the difference in radiation exposure to healthy tissue and vital organs surrounding the cancerous tumor. The colored areas are exposed to radiation, while the gray/white areas are not.
Proton Therapy Improves Quality of Life During & After Treatment
Men treated for prostate cancer using proton therapy reported significantly better quality of life than other therapy options. A national survey profiled 755 men, ages 50-75, at least 12 months after prostate cancer treatment. Patients who received proton therapy reported the best outcomes for overall quality of life, urinary function, sexual function, ability to remain active during treatment, and living life the way they wanted to after treatment.
Notably, the chart below shows more than 70% of proton therapy patients reported that treatment did not interfere at all with their overall quality of life. View our “Quality of Life Survey” results to see more patient reported outcomes supporting the many benefits of proton therapy for prostate cancer treatment.
When someone is diagnosed with cancer, life’s focus turns to cancer treatment, quality of life, care, and cure. During this journey, there are a myriad of emotions, and there is no greater comfort than connecting with someone who has been down this path before.View All Stories
- Sources and Studies
1.Proton Therapy Is Associated with Superior Survival and Decreased Risk of Complications Compared to IMRT for Intermediate Risk Prostate Cancer: A Medicare/SEER Database Study.
2.Bryant Survey Results.
3.Dose–Volume Comparison of Proton Therapy and Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer. Read More
4.Five-Year Biochemical Results, Toxicity, and Patient-Reported Quality of Life After Delivery of Dose-Escalated Image Guided Proton Therapy for Prostate Cancer. Read More
5.Comparative Effectiveness Study of Patient-Reported Outcomes following Proton Therapy or IMRT for Prostate Cancer. Read More
6.Comparative toxicity and cost of Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy, Proton Radiation, and Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy Among Younger Men With Prostate Cancer. Read More
7. Zietman AL, Bae K, Slater JD, et al. Randomized trial comparing conventional-dose with high dose conformal radiation therapy in early-stage adenocarcinoma of the prostate: long-term results from proton radiation oncology group/american college of radiology 95-09. J. Clin. Oncol. 2010; 28(7): 1106-111
8. National Cancer Institute. Prostate Cancer. Read More
9. American Cancer Society. What Is Prostate Cancer? Read more