97 Percent Of Prostate Cancer Patients Treated With Proton Therapy Have Not Suffered Recurrence
Patients Report High Quality of Life After Treatment in New Survey from National Association for Proton Therapy
WASHINGTON, April 2, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Approximately 97 percent of patients who received only an advanced form of radiation called proton therapy for prostate cancer report that they have not experienced a recurrence of their disease, according to a new survey of nearly 4,000 patients released today at the second annual National Proton Conference in Arlington, VA.
The new survey was commissioned by the National Association for Proton Therapy (NAPT) as a follow on to a 2013 report designed to investigate clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction. Dobson DaVanzo & Associates, LLC (Dobson| DaVanzo), an independent health economics and policy consulting firm, conducted the study. This year’s survey captured data from 3,798 former proton therapy patients treated at twelve proton therapy centers, which is almost a two-fold increase from the 1,961 former patients who completed the 2013 survey. Approximately 17 percent of all men treated in America with proton therapy for prostate cancer participated in the survey. Many of the cancer-free patients completed treatment as long as 10 years ago. (For details, see the executive summary, highlights, and a slide presentation about the survey.)
“We are delighted that the results of the new study are highly consistent with the 2013 study of prostate cancer patients treated with proton therapy. Both show that the overwhelming majority of proton therapy patients surveyed are free from recurrence, enjoying an excellent quality of life and so happy with their choice of treatment that they have recommended it to others,” said Leonard Arzt, Executive Director of NAPT.
Proton therapy uses a high energy beam of protons, instead of conventional high energy X-rays, to deliver a precise dose of radiation therapy. Proton therapy destroys cancer cells, but does not attack adjacent healthy tissue, so patients do not suffer the same side effects that patients treated with conventional radiation endure. They also are at less risk for radiation induced secondary tumors.
In contrast with the results reported by proton therapy patients, 10-30 percent of men who have a prostatectomy (surgery) experience a recurrence of their cancer, according to a recent estimate. Also, a 2006 study revealed that 11 percent of patients treated with a conventional form of radiation experience a recurrence within 8 years.
“The study data on why patients choose proton therapy is an important finding,” said Joan DaVanzo, Ph.D, chief executive officer, Dobson | DaVanzo, “Our results indicated that of those with prostate cancer who responded to the survey, a vast majority of individuals are choosing proton therapy over other treatment modalities (such as surgery and conventional X-ray radiation such as IMRT) based on their desire for fewer side effects.”
New York City resident Bill Barbour, 63, says he was “shattered” when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in May 2011. An avid cyclist, he feared that treatment would prevent him from enjoying the hobby that he says is “part of the fabric of his life.” After learning that an acquaintance of his was unable to cycle for two years after a prostatectomy, Bill choose proton therapy and was able to ride his bike to and from the treatment center for his treatments. He also continued to work throughout his treatment. “Treatments were painless and took about one minute,” Bill says.
To measure each patient’s post-treatment health condition, the new study used the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite (EPIC), a validated instrument developed by the University of Michigan and UCLA that measures health related quality of life (HRQOL), specifically among men with prostate cancer. In both surveys, patients who received only proton therapy for treatment of their prostate cancer did not have significantly different HRQOL scores post-treatment from a prostate-cancer free control group in each category: 1) urinary incontinence, 2) urinary irritative, 3) bowel, and 4) sexual.
Consistent with the previous NAPT study, patients continue to be extremely satisfied with their proton therapy treatment:
-- Of 3,632 patients who responded, 98 percent believed they had made the best treatment decision for themselves. -- Of 3,636 patients who responded, 96 percent have recommended proton therapy to others. -- Of 3,642 patients who responded, 85 percent reported that their quality of life was "better than" (27 percent) or "the same as" (58 percent) before their treatment.
The National Association for Proton Therapy (NAPT) is a non-profit organization supported by proton center members and is “The Voice of the Proton Community”. The NAPT promotes education and public awareness for the clinical benefits of proton beam radiation therapy. Founded in 1990, NAPT is an advocate for the advancement and future access of proton therapy. NAPT’s site is www.proton-therapy.org.
SOURCE National Association for Proton Therapy