ASTRO, industry leaders issue new radiation treatment guidelines for early-stage prostate cancer

Prominent medical societies have issued new clinical guidelines, Thursday, Oct. 11, recommending physicians use external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) to treat men with early-stage prostate cancer.

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and American Urological Association (AUA) have found hypofractionated radiation therapy could provide shorter, more convenient treatment for many men with prostate cancer, according to an ASTRO release.

"Men who opt to receive hypofractionated radiation therapy will be able to receive a shorter course of treatment, which is a welcomed benefit to many men. When clinicians can reduce overall treatment time while maintaining outcomes, it's to our patients' benefit, as they can spend less time away from family and less time traveling to and from treatment," said Scott Morgan, MD, co-chair of the guideline panel responsible for creating the new guidelines, in the release.

EBRT, when fractionalized, produces larger radiation doses in fewer treatment sessions, with a four- to five-week treatment course compared to the eight- to nine-week period needed in conventional radiation therapy, according to the statement.

To create the newly issued guidelines, a panel of 16 expert clinicians, researchers and a patient advocate combed over studies published from December 2001 through March 2018.

The full guidelines were published in Practical Radiation Oncology, the Journal of Clinical Oncology and The Journal of Urology.