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forecasting techniques in the treatment of prostate cancer - reduced side effects

18 December 2017 15:15

According to a new study in the near future will be able to determine which treatments for prostate cancer and to what extent the impact on urinary and sexual function of men in order to reduce the number of unwanted effects of therapy. The scientific work carried out in the Fox Chase Cancer Center. Its results were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology, 16 September.

The scientists analyzed more than 17,000 diagnostic and treatment results of patients with prostate cancer, to monitor the impact of each treatment on the condition of the bladder and sexual function, showing any symptoms. According to Matthew Johnson, author, doctor of medicine, a doctor in the department of Fox Chase radiation oncology, the ultimate goal is to develop forecasting tools that allow patients decide which treatment is right for them based on the presenting symptoms and tolerance to changes in these symptoms, even temporary.

Once diagnosed, a man has several options for treatment: for example, an operation to remove the prostate gland, several types of radiation therapy. The patient can choose the intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) - external irradiation method, or undergo brachytherapy - a procedure in which radioactive pellets are implanted into the prostate with a low dose of power.

For each method of treatment is characterized by side effects, including disturbances in bladder, erectile dysfunction. These symptoms often occur in patients and to perform therapy. Therefore, Dr. Johnson and his team interviewed the men about the presence of any symptoms before and after treatment, to track how prostate cancer therapy affects the condition of the bladder and sexual function. 3515 14523 men in the survey said about the problem of frequent urination.

Examining in more detail the results and seeing more than half of patients within 28 months, the researchers noted that brachytherapy is associated with a temporary increase in side effects, especially in the first three months. Over 34 months the man, held an internal radiation therapy reported more adverse effects of treatment than those who received IMRT.

In order to find out the extent of sexual problems as a result of treatment, researchers examined the 2624 survey of 857 patients. Irradiation is associated with slow deterioration of erectile function for a long time, it turned out that all types of radiotherapy cause approximately the same number of side effects. Men marked the largest increase sexual problems after surgery to remove the prostate and surrounding tissues, reaching a maximum in 3-7 months after the surgery, which is probably the result of nerve damage during surgery. By the 22-month mark no more violations than after IMRT radiation.

Surprisingly, according to the doctors that in cases where after the operation the patient has normal sexual function and required postoperative radiation therapy, there is a tendency to preserve and maintain erectile function. Although, according to Dr. Johnson's remark, it is known that irradiation causes erectile dysfunction in men who did not undergo surgery.

Since the patients were able to interrupt the examination, in addition, many men refrained from discussing these issues, the data can not be taken into account a number of irregularities before and after treatment, according to researchers. Surveys of patients continue to have many advantages, they are more reliable and accurate, compared with surveys of doctors.

The next step, according to scientists, is to organize and analyze data collected from thousands of patients so that doctors could easily predict the time and degree of impairment in accordance with the implementation of the various procedures. Based on this information, patients can choose the most comfortable form of treatment.

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