ASTRO president speaks on prostate cancer at MEDCAC meeting

April 21, 2010

ASTRO President Anthony Zietman, M.D., spoke before the Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC) meeting today on radiation therapy for treatment of localized prostate cancer. MEDCAC provides advice and recommendations to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for what is covered by Medicare and Medicaid, based on scientific evidence. Today's meeting focused on the risks, benefits and outcomes of radiation therapy treatments for localized prostate cancer as compared with watchful waiting.

In his remarks, Dr. Zietman, an expert in radiation therapy treatments for prostate cancer from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University in Boston, provided data on how successful radiation therapy techniques, including external beam radiation therapy and brachytherapy, are at treating prostate cancer without significant side effects. He acknowledged that it is possible some men are receiving treatments for prostate cancer that would have done well without treatment through watchful waiting or active surveillance. However, doctors currently have little way to tell if a man's prostate cancer will progress to be life-threatening or if it will remain somewhat asymptomatic.

With respect to stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), Dr. Zietman said that the treatment, which pinpoints high doses of radiation to the prostate over a few days instead of several weeks, shows promise as a non-invasive way to cure prostate cancer. However, he cautioned that SBRT needed further study in clinical trials to fully capture survival and quality of life measures.

"Prostate cancer is the number one cancer diagnosed in men. I applaud MEDCAC for studying this important issue and appreciate the opportunity to participate in the forum," Dr. Zietman said.
-end-
To read Dr. Zietman's full remarks, visit www.astro.org/PublicPolicy/CommentLettersTestimonyAndReports.

ASTRO is the largest radiation oncology society in the world, with more than 10,000 members who specialize in treating patients with radiation therapies. As the leading organization in radiation oncology, biology and physics, the Society is dedicated to improving patient care through education, clinical practice, advancement of science and advocacy. For more information on radiation therapy, visit www.rtanswers.org. To learn more about ASTRO, visit www.astro.org.

American Society for Radiation Oncology

Related Prostate Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

Low risk of cancer spread on active surveillance for early prostate cancer
Men undergoing active surveillance for prostate cancer have very low rates - one percent or less - of cancer spread (metastases) or death from prostate cancer, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Urology®, an Official Journal of the American Urological Association (AUA).

ESMO 2020: Breast cancer drug set to transform prostate cancer treatment
A drug used to treat breast and ovarian cancer can extend the lives of some men with prostate cancer and should become a new standard treatment for the disease, concludes a major trial which is set to change clinical practice.

Major trial shows breast cancer drug can hit prostate cancer Achilles heel
A drug already licensed for the treatment of breast and ovarian cancers is more effective than targeted hormone therapy at keeping cancer in check in some men with advanced prostate cancer, a major clinical trial reports.

The Lancet: Prostate cancer study finds molecular imaging could transform management of patients with aggressive cancer
Results from a randomised controlled trial involving 300 prostate cancer patients find that a molecular imaging technique is more accurate than conventional medical imaging and recommends the scans be introduced into routine clinical practice.

Common genetic defect in prostate cancer inspires path to new anti-cancer drugs
Researchers found that, in prostate cancer, a mutation leading to the loss of one allele of a tumor suppressor gene known as PPP2R2A is enough to worsen a tumor caused by other mutations.

First prostate cancer therapy to target genes delays cancer progression
For the first time, prostate cancer has been treated based on the genetic makeup of the cancer, resulting in delayed disease progression, delayed time to pain progression, and potentially extending lives in patients with advanced, metastatic prostate cancer, reports a large phase 3 trial.

Men taking medications for enlarged prostate face delays in prostate cancer diagnosis
University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers report that men treated with medications for benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate) experienced a two-year delay in diagnosis of their prostate cancer and were twice as likely to have advanced disease upon diagnosis.

CNIO researchers confirm links between aggressive prostate cancer and hereditary breast cancer
The study has potential implications for families with members suffering from these types of tumours who are at an increased risk of developing cancer.

Distinguishing fatal prostate cancer from 'manageable' cancer now possible
Scientists at the University of York have found a way of distinguishing between fatal prostate cancer and manageable cancer, which could reduce unnecessary surgeries and radiotherapy.

Researchers find prostate cancer drug byproduct can fuel cancer cells
A genetic anomaly in certain men with prostate cancer may impact their response to common drugs used to treat the disease, according to new research at Cleveland Clinic.

Read More: Prostate Cancer News and Prostate Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.