A new phase III randomized trial presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting suggests that people with intermediate-risk, localized prostate cancer can be effectively treated with higher doses of radiation therapy delivered over fewer treatment sessions. The study, known as the PACE B (Prostate Advances in Comparative Evidence) study, compared the outcomes of stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) to standard treatment with moderately fractionated radiation.
The results of the study showed that SBRT performed as well as conventional radiation, with a five-year disease control rate of 96% compared to 95% for conventional radiation. The principal investigator of the trial, Nicholas van As, MD, described the outcomes as better than expected, stating that being able to offer patients a low toxicity treatment that can keep the cancer at bay for five years is a positive development.
Prostate cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the US. The primary treatment options for localized prostate cancer include active surveillance, radiation therapy, or surgery to remove the prostate gland. SBRT is an advanced form of radiation therapy that delivers higher doses of radiation over fewer treatment sessions. It uses advanced imaging and treatment planning techniques to minimize damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
The PACE B study enrolled 874 patients with intermediate-risk, localized prostate cancer. The patients were randomly assigned to receive either SBRT or standard radiation. After five years of follow-up, the SBRT group had a disease control rate of 95.7% compared to 94.6% in the conventional radiation group. The side effects were low in both groups and not significantly different.
Prof. van As highlighted that the study’s results demonstrate the outstanding outcomes of high-quality radiation therapy. He also noted that these results may not apply to people with higher-risk cancer.
The PACE trials, which include three studies on the benefits of SBRT for localized prostate cancer, are ongoing, and further research is being conducted on the use of SBRT for patients with higher-risk disease. In the meantime, Prof. van As recommends that patients with intermediate risk prostate cancer should be given the option of SBRT as an alternative to longer courses of radiation or prostate surgery.
Source: American Society for Radiation Oncology