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Prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting Canadian men, and radiotherapy given from the outside (external beam) is frequently chosen by patients as an alternative to surgery to eradicate the tumour and cure the disease. Recent improvements in radiation treatment allow more radiation dose to be safely given than before, but this has extended the duration of a treatment course from a traditional 6-7 weeks to up to 8-9 weeks. Extending radiation treatment courses has improved cancer control, but is more inconvenient to patients and has placed a substantial economic burden on the health care system. Canadians often live remotely from radiation treatment centres, and prostate cancer patients have also been burdened with additional financial, emotional and social costs from the added weeks of treatment. This randomized trial is being conducted in centres across Canada and in Australia to determine whether an 8 week course of radiotherapy can be safely compressed into 4 weeks with the same effectiveness as a longer course, by using very high-precision radiotherapy techniques to direct the radiation to the tumour and away from the healthy tissues. So far 700 patients of a total 1204 have been entered. If a shorter course is proved to be equivalent to a longer course, then using it will increase overall treatment capacity and possibly access to care, and reduce the emotional, financial and social impact of treatment on men with prostate cancer.
- Prostate Cancer
Common Scientific Outline (CSO) Research Areas
- 5.2 Treatment Localized Therapies - Clinical Applications