November is the month to raise awareness for men´s health issues. This annual event is known as Movember. It is estimated that prostate cancer in Europe causes up to 7% of all cancer deaths in men. Nevertheless, based on previous years cancer registries, prostate cancer is the most frequent type of cancer in men in Spain.

The radical treatment for localized prostate cancer is usually surgery and/or radiotherapy, however, advanced or metastatic prostate cancer, is treated with hormonotherapy, chemotherapy and/or targeted therapies; in some cases it may also need radiotherapy to relieve symptoms or to improve local control.

Radiotherapy is an essential treatment in the multidisciplinary approach to this tumor.

This treatment has acquired importance over the years due to the excellent results in controlling the disease, which is comparable to surgery, with the added advantage of being a non-invasive treatment.

The prevalence rate of prostate cancer is almost 60% of men over 80 years old. The ideal therapy for this fragile population is to have a treatment that avoids surgery associated risks.

Radiotherapy aims to cure cancer:

• In patients with localized cancer, either low, intermediate or high risk of relapse

• In high-risk patients, hormonal therapy is also required for both local and systemic control of the disease.

• For patients who after surgery are left with remainders of the disease or who have some relapse risk factors. The current trend in these cases is to monitor the patients closely in case of an early relapse or recurrence of the disease, and in that event, treating the patient with early salvage radiotherapy.

Radiotherapy to palliate the symptoms of the disease

For patients with more advanced disease, radiotherapy can relieve the symptoms, such as pain. Prostate cancer tends to extend to the bones, that is why metastasis are usually located at the spine and the pelvis. Radiotherapy can control the pain up to 70% of cases. Furthermore, when the spread of the disease is limited, a treatment with a radical purpose can be attempted. In short, published evidence indicates that radiotherapy is a key element for prostate cancer treatment that can be offered in different stages of the disease always offering a high level of response.

Prostate cancer radiotherapy at HC Cancer Centre:

Improve the survival rates:

The prostate cancer treatment with tomotherapy offers an excellent control of the disease, reaching relapse-free survival rates at 5 years up to 98,9% without acute toxicity.

In high or very high-risk patients after the treatment with tomotherapy combined with hormonotherapy, a relapse-free survival rate at 5 years reaches 91 to 99%. Furthermore, there is a good tolerance to the treatment, with less than 10% of the patients suffering long-term severe urogenital or gastrointestinal secondary effects.

Tumour tracking radiotherapy

Prostate moves up to 12-15 mm due to changes in the volume of the bladder or the rectum, the organs close to the prostate. Other more conventional radiotherapy treatments don´t detect the movement, which increases the risk that the whole area is not adequately treated or to avoid this under treatment the margins have to be increased, consequently increasing the volume of radiotherapy received which substantially increases toxicity. Our radiotherapy unit has a built-in tracking system, called Synchrony, capable of following the tumour movement in real-time during each radiation session.

This can be achieved by placing fiducials inside the prostate, which the system uses to track and administrate the treatment precisely.

This precision is ideal for extreme hypofractionation (SBRT) which make it possible to eliminate the disease with fewer treatment sessions.

Learn about the new radiotherapy at HC Cancer Centre –

Author: Seb

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