Less invasive prostate cancer treatments gain momentum

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Technological advances in radiation therapy and minimally invasive surgery will shape future treatment choices for prostate cancer, according to healthcare market research firm IMV of Des Plaines, Ill.

Mary Patton, IMV’s director of market research, said that both urologists and radiation oncologists expect the use of image guided radiation therapy (IGRT) to become much more widespread within the next few years, leading to more focused treatment that will be delivered in fewer sessions.

She noted that unlike the radiation oncologists, many urologists predict that the use of laparoscopic radical prostatectomy will grow significantly in the near future, taking advantage of nerve-sparing techniques and robotic assistance to reinforce surgery as their first-line treatment of choice for patients with localized disease.

The company surveyed 122 urologists and 115 radiation oncologists throughout the United States who actively treat patients with prostate cancer.

It found that more than 90 percent of the urologists and all of the radiation oncologists in the survey sample have ordered or performed electron beam radiation therapy (EBRT) procedures for their patients with prostate cancer during the past 12 months. Further, 78 percent of respondents have ordered or performed low-dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy seed implants for their patients with prostate cancer during the past 12 months.