Interventions of Interest:

  • Intensity modulated radiation therapy for prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common nondermatologic cancer in men. In 2006, approximately
230,000 new patients in the United States were diagnosed with prostate cancer and 27,000 men died of the disease. The major treatment options for localized prostate cancer include external beam radiation therapy, brachytherapy, surgery, and watchful waiting. Data to compare the long-term survival benefits of these options are limited, and thus the choice of a treatment option for many patients is based on considerations of the potential short and long-term side effects of different treatment options.

IMRT is a form of external beam radiation therapy that uses multiple beam angles and nonuniform beam intensities along with CT based computer planning to conform the radiation to the target organ in order to spare normal adjacent structures. IMRT thus has many similarities with three dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT) which also uses CT imaging to construct 3D images to help maintain full dose to the target organ while decreasing the radiation dose to normal tissue. The basic premise underlying the potential advantages of IMRT over 3DCRT is that sculpting the radiation to the target volume of the cancer more precisely will result in:

  • A reduction in acute toxicity to the surrounding normal tissues of the gastrointestinal (GI), genitourinary (GU) and sexual organs
  • The ability to increase the dose to the tumor target, thus potentially reducing local recurrence rates.

Date of Review: November 2007

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Final Documents

Below you will find the final documents from the assessment review process: