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Prostate Cancer Trial Shows Treating With Precision Radiotherapy Cuts Course Of Treatment By 50 Percent

Last updated April 1, 2017

Approved by: Krish Tangella MD, MBA, FCAP

Ned Horton - FreeImages.com

"We conducted a randomized clinical trial looking at a way of improving radiation therapy for men with intermediate-risk prostate cancer. Using modern radiation therapy techniques that are very precise, we determined there was no noticeable difference between eight- and four-week treatment regimens in terms of cancer control or side effects of treatment."


An Ontario-led international clinical trial with 1,206 men with localized prostate cancer shows that compressing radiation treatments into four weeks from eight delivers similar outcomes.

The findings, published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, provide a new standard of care worldwide, which the participating centres have already adopted, says co-principal investigator Charles Catton, radiation oncologist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network. Dr. Catton is also a Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto.

"We conducted a randomized clinical trial looking at a way of improving radiation therapy for men with intermediate-risk prostate cancer. Using modern radiation therapy techniques that are very precise, we determined there was no noticeable difference between eight- and four-week treatment regimens in terms of cancer control or side effects of treatment," says Dr. Catton. The trial participants were followed for six years.

"In fact, for some men, the shorter regimen meant slightly fewer side effects (particularly regarding bowel function) and therefore improved quality of life. The compressed course of treatment is of great benefit to patients and also to the system in terms of being able to treat more patients in less time," he says. In Canada, 20,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year; many of whom have intermediate-risk disease that has not spread.

The trial was conducted with co-principal investigator Himu Lukka, radiation oncologist, Juravinski Cancer Centre, and Professor, Department of Oncology, McMaster University, and coordinated by the Ontario Clinical Oncology Group, Hamilton, Ontario. Twenty-seven cancer centres in Canada, Australia and France participated in the study, which began in 2005.

Dr. Catton says the trial further improved patient care by standardizing quality delivery of precision radiation techniques among participating institutions.


Materials provided by University Health NetworkNote: Content may be edited for style and length.

Disclaimer: DoveMed is not responsible for the accuracy of the adapted version of news releases posted to DoveMed by contributing universities and institutions.

Primary Resource:

Catton, C. N., Lukka, H., Gu, C. S., Martin, J. M., Supiot, S., Chung, P. W., ... & Tai, K. H. (2017). Randomized Trial of a Hypofractionated Radiation Regimen for the Treatment of Localized Prostate Cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology, JCO-2016. DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2016.71.7397

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: April 1, 2017
Last updated: April 1, 2017