Young Men Report Quality of Life Satisfaction Following Proton Therapy for Prostate Cancer

Men 55 and younger treated with proton therapy for prostate cancer at the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute report high satisfaction for quality of life indicators such as sexual and urinary function.

Early data from a UF clinical study shows that young men treated with proton therapy for prostate cancer have few significant side effects in the first 18 months after treatment. Although erectile dysfunction after treatment can occur, complete impotence was rare and few were dissatisfied with their treatment choice. The results were reported by UF Proton Therapy Institute radiation oncologist Bradford S. Hoppe, M.D., during the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology.

The clinical study includes 98 men with low-, intermediate-, and high-risk prostate cancer and who are 55 years old or younger. Patients were evaluated pre-treatment and post-treatment at six month intervals. Rates of reported side effects varied at the six-, 12- and 18-month intervals.

Results show that at 18 months following treatment:

•        21 percent of patients experienced mild urinary side effects that were treated with prescription medication,

•        3 percent experienced mild gastrointestinal side effects that were treated with prescription medication,

•        No patients experienced permanent incontinence

•        No patients experienced significant rectal side effects,

•        94 percent of those that did not receive androgen deprivation therapy were sexually active,

•        Only 2 patients were dissatisfied with their treatment decision.

Further study is needed in order to confirm findings and UF Proton Therapy Institute continues to monitor patient outcomes.

The UF Proton Therapy Institute, open since 2006, treats cancer patients with proton therapy, a form of radiation that destroys cancerous tumors while preventing damage to healthy, normal body tissue and organs. Proton therapy can deliver both an optimal high dose and spare healthy tissue, especially in hard to reach tumors in the brain, head and neck, prostate and lung as well as sarcomas, lymphomas and childhood cancers.

UF Proton Therapy Institute is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization affiliated with the UF College of Medicine and the UF Shands Cancer Center, dedicated to delivering state-of-the-art cancer treatment and setting new standards for treating and curing the disease. The cancer treatment facility houses both conventional radiation and proton therapy, and delivers proton therapy to 100 patients a day.

—     Theresa Makrush

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Spring 2011

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