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Dose of Radiation Therapy Directed to the Prostate Affects Treatment Outcome

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (October 20, 2003) — The dose of radiation therapy delivered to the prostate for cancer treatment has a significant impact on clinical outcome. In patients with prostate cancer at high risk of metastasis, the dose delivered to the prostate is the most significant determinant of outcome, according to a Fox Chase Cancer Center study. Rojymon Jacob, MD, FRCR, a fellow in the radiation oncology department at Fox Chase, presented the results today at the 45th annual meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The study involved 420 high-risk prostate cancer patients (great than 15 percent risk of lymph-node metastasis) treated with three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy, with or without short-term androgen deprivation, between June 1989 and July 2000. The patients were treated with radiotherapy either to the prostate alone or with additional treatment to part or all of the pelvis.

"Radiation dose to the prostate was the most significant determinant of cancer control for these high-risk prostate cancer patients," said Jacob. "The data we presented here indicate that the prostate is the major site of treatment failure in high-risk patients and that high doses are of paramount importance for this group."

High dose was considered to be more than 70 Gy. Short-term androgen deprivation was not an independent predictor for cancer control.

Other study authors include Alexandra L. Hanlon, PhD, Eric M. Horwitz, MD, Benjamin Movsas, MD, Robert Uzzo, MD, and Alan Pollack, MD, PhD, of Fox Chase Cancer Center.


Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment 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 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 four 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.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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